Nigg Old Church, Nigg

Origins of the Church

The date of the original building is not known but the earliest reference to the church of Nigg is in 1296 when the parson, John of Dunbretan, swore loyalty to King Edward of England.



The parish system was introduced to Scotland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, from which time all landowners paid a tenth of their crop (known as a teind) for the upkeep of the church. The revenue from the parish of Nigg went directly to the Bishop of Ross. He would have appointed a priest to care for the parish in his place – a vicar (meaning someone who stands in for another).



The Bishop’s property at Nigg included a mansion house, orchard, garden, moothill (where courts were held), fish ponds and a granary. Behind the church in the 1790s were remains of the foundation of ‘a house above 90ft in length’, possibly the remains of the Bishop’s house. Nigg House, which is now on the site, incorporates a date stone of 1702 and the belt of trees which used to run from the church down to the shore is still known as the Bishop’s Walk.



There is at least one other remnant of the medieval church, a fourteenth century gravestone in the kirkyard.
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Nigg Old Church Reviews
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  • The church and its setting are attractive, but the stone is magnificent, and beautifully displayed. It is a bit hard to find, but the effort is well- rewarded when you walk through the church into the...  more »
  • It is worth to visit this beautiful and simple Church. Contains what is considered the masterpiece of the Picts: a large stone, with complex inlays, of the eighth century. The Picts lived in Scotland at the time of the invasion of the Romans and were converted to Christianity by Saint Columba.
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