The Kirkmichael Trust is repairing the ancient but derelict and dangerous buildings at Kirkmichael in the Black Isle, and creating a unique display of medieval ornamental memorials in the repaired buildings. We thank everyone on our Sponsors Page for funding this wonderful project. You can still contribute to the future maintenance of Kirkmichael, though, by clicking on the donate button (via PayPal). To donate by other means email us . Watch our Building progress here. Precious memorials are away for repairs, gravestones are boxed in for protection, scaffolding covers the ancient remains of Kirkmichael and the walls are being stabilised before the roof goes on.
And see our project video here to see what we are creating – since recording, funding was completed and the project is well on its 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.