The Kirkmichael Trust is seeking to repair the ancient but derelict and dangerous buildings at Kirkmichael in the Black Isle, and create a unique display of medieval ornamental memorials in the repaired buildings. We have now put together our funding package for this wonderful project thanks to all our partners and sponsors, many of whom are set out on our Sponsors Page. The site will need to be maintained, though, when the works are complete, so you can continue to contribute by clicking on the donate button (via PayPal). To donate by other means email us . Some preparation work is underway; slates and old timbers are being moved, we trust this does not inconvenience visitors too much. It will be for a few months at most. Join in! We will be setting out here over the next few months an exciting Activities Programme. You can join site conservation demonstrations or help with off-site research. You can learn more about the history of the site and the people associated with it, about symbols of mortality and immortality, about the beautiful medieval ornamental stones of the north, some of our best but hidden works of art. And we’ll have guided tours for those who can join us at Kirkmichael, and an activities log.
Please view the project video here to see what we will be creating – note that since recording the video the funding package has been completed so we are now on our way!
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Kirkmichael lies on the shore of the gloriously scenic Udale Bay, on the north east of the Black Isle, beside the B9163.
The old buildings tell a tremendous story. Initially there was a medieval church, serving the original parish of Kirkmichael. Following the Reformation, the building was adapted for use as a protestant kirk. The parishes of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden, mostly in the possession of the family of Urquhart, were amalgamated by Act of Parliament in 1662, with a requirement to build a new “centrical” church at the farmstead of Resolis. However, the estate owners kept the two old kirks of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden going until they were too ruinous to repair, and Kirkmichael therefore continued in use as a kirk until 1769. The chancel was already the mausoleum of the Urquharts of Braelangwell (and in more modern times, the Shaw-Mackenzies of Newhall). Now George Gun Munro of Poyntzfield, around 1800, rebuilt part of the nave as a splendid mausoleum for the family.
The kirk-yard itself is remarkable. Some of the choicest tales of the Cromarty stonemason and writer, Hugh Miller, involve Kirkmichael. He laboured here on a stone lying just west of the bell tower gable. Jane Duncan, best-selling novelist of the 1960s, and still very popular today, is buried near the south wall. There are two very unusual separate mausolea, to Lady Ardoch and Florence Dunbar, to the south and north of the kirk. There is a superb example of a medieval complex cross lying beside the yew tree. And many of the slabs contain dense assemblages of artistically-worked symbols of mortality and immortality.