The congregation which worships in Pitlochry can trace its history
back at least to the 7th century when it seems a church dedicated
to St Colm or St Colman was founded.
Further evidence of early Christian activity in the area is the Dunfallandy
Stone which has an ornately sculptured Celtic Christian Cross, human and
animal carvings and Pictish symbols.
It was originally found near Killiecrankie, about 4 miles (c. 6.5
km) from Pitlochry but was moved to Dunfallandy farm close to Pitlochry.
It probably dates from the
7th or 8th century A.D.
Throughout the centuries since then successive parish church buildings
were erected in the nearby village
of Moulin .
King William the Lion (1165-1214) gave to the Abbey of Dunfermline
a charter of the church
at Moulin with three carucates of land.
(A carucate was the amount of land a team of oxen could plough in
a season – about 50 acres or 20 hectares.)
Another charter, dated 1231, notes that the establishment of Dunfermline
Abbey had been increased from 30 to 50 monks and, to augment their income,
the abbot and convent “made humble supplication for the patronage of
”. Pope Gregory
IX granted them that patronage. Shortly
before the Reformation in 1560 the Commendator of the abbey at
Dunfermline granted a feu charter of “all and whole of the glebe
and Kirk land of
Maling (Moulin)……” to the Stewart family who
had lived and worked land in that area for many years.
This was the origin of Balnakeilly estate, one of several estates
in the Pitlochry district. The
present church building at Moulin was closed for worship in 1989 and all
activities of the congregation were then centred on the buildings in Pitlochry.
disastrous fire had gutted Moulin Kirk in 1873 and, in addition to restoring
this building, (shown on the left)
a decision was taken to erect a new church building in Pitlochry on a
site which had been offered by Mr Archibald Butter of Faskally.
The building, shown below, designed by Dundee architects,
C&L Ower, and comprising a mixture of Victorian Gothic, Romanesque
and Byzantine features, was completed in 1884 and when Mr Butter died
in 1885, money was raised for a church clock and bell as a memorial of
his lifetime service to the town. Services
in the Pitlochry
Church , which seats about 250 people, were
arranged by the Kirk Session of Moulin. The
other main addition was the construction of two iron columns to reinforce
the roof structure in 1901. A
church hall was built in 1910. The
church and the nearby monument to Alexander Duff of Moulin, the first
Church of Scotland missionary to India
, (seen here
to the right of the church)
have been given ‘A’ listed status by the Local Authority.
1929, when the majority of United Free Church congregations united with
those of the Church of Scotland, the Pitlochry UF Church became known
as the East
Church and the building we use today became
the West Church
. Its position
on a knoll overlooking the village earned it the nickname ‘
’. In 1934
it was designated the second parish church of the parish of Moulin.
In 1992, the congregations of the East
Church and the
united to form what is today ‘Pitlochry Church of Scotland’.
To commemorate this union, a porch was added to the former
, built from stones taken from the
. The 1910 hall was refurbished and a lounge area, office, and commercial
kitchen added. This is The
Tryst and it serves as a meeting place for the congregation and local
community organisations and so increases the opportunities for the church’s
outreach to those whom it serves.