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Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Small Scottish Parish Church

Visited this small Scottish Parish Church today. Forgandenny Church lies about two miles from Forteviot, the ancient residence of the Pictish Kings. Thus it is not surprising to learn that there has been a church here since early times. Only a fragment of the ancient work is left as the building has been greatly altered at various times. On the inside it measures 70ft 7ins long by 21 ft 7 ins wide and accommodates 150 seats. The east wall is in the main Norman masonry. It has a splayed base which returns at each corner but most of this is hidden by rising ground toward the west. The doorway to the church which is now built up was in the south side near the west end. It appears to have been Norman work and a small piece with double notch enrichment remains. This dog-tooth pattern is frequently found in the outer members of Norman door arches. At some later date a porch has been added when probably the Norman door was dismembered and the fragment now shown was built into the wall. Sometime after the Reformation, a laird’s seat (belonging to the Oliphants of Condie) was projected into the church. This seat was done away with by giving the Oliphants of Condie the porch, which they converted into a burial vault, enlarging it at the same time and making their seat over it with an opening into the church. The Ruthven vault, situated father east is probably a structure of the 16th century, some closed up windows having features of that period. The foundation of a building was discovered in Victorian times on the north side of the church, exactly opposite the Ruthven vault, suggesting that the simple Norman building had for a time been converted to a cross church. The bowl of the font still remains. It is octagonal but not equal sided. It measures 2ft 1in overall by about 15 inches high.

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