MUCKAIRN CHURCH HISTORY

There is evidence of an earlier medieval church, from the L-shaped structure of stone walls standing a few yards from the south east corner of the church. This is all that remains of Killespickerill, a name thought to derive from "The Church of Bishop Harold". The structure you see today might date as far back as far the 1400s or 1500s and the main architectural feature is a badly eroded arched tomb-chest recess in the interior of the surviving south wall.

 

The standing walls are believed to be the remains of the second church to have stood on this spot, and to bear the name Killespickerill. The reference to Bishop Harold in the name is important, and it is believed that the first church to have stood here was built in the 1220s. 

The church of 1829 would have been externally fairly similar to the one you see today. Internally, however, there would have been three galleries at first floor level, at east and west ends and on the north side. The focus of worship would have been a pulpit set at high level mid way along the south wall. At ground floor level, the pews would have faced in from the ends, and across the church in the middle. It is not entirely certain when the interior was remodelled to what you see today, but it may have been during refurbishment that took place in 1887.

The church is recorded as having been built in 1829 as part of the program of "Parliamentary Churches" across the Highlands and Islands paid for from public funds, and built to a common design produced by Thomas Telford. 

Muckairn Church doesn't actually fit the normal template, as it was built as an oblong rather than the standard T-plan. It appears that although the manse was paid for from Parliamentary funds, the £993 14s 6d cost of the church itself was found by General Campbell of Lochnell: and it was presumably him who decided on the design and layout.

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