The visit to the Old Kirk at Kincardine o’ Neil on 5th June took place on a fine day and we greatly appreciated inputs from Ray McAleese and Alistair Urquhart. Ray has been studying records and documents relating to medieval hospitals in the area and set the historical context for us. The possible location of the Kincardine o’ Neil hospital and the whereabouts of the 13th century bridge recorded as having been built across the Dee are particular issues he would love to resolve.
Alistair’s input was based on his experience of working on the masonry of the Old Kirk some years ago and his detailed knowledge of how the different parts of the kirk were constructed. The walls of the kirk bear testament to a surprising number of alterations over the centuries and the site itself appears to have been truncated significantly to make way for the A96.
As described in Echoes, Issue 10, Alistair has confounded previous interpretations by demonstrating that the East gable, shown here, was originally part of the earlier building whose foundations extend to the East. This undermines the theory that these foundations might represent a hospital added to the pre-existing Kirk.
We finished the visit with a trip down to the river to speculate on where a bridge might have been constructed and whether or not the Dee still occupies the same channel it did 800 years ago.