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Cateran Ecomuseum

Kettins Kirk

Consecrated to St Brigid in 1249.

The small village of Kettins lies just across from the southern edge of the Ecomuseum. Its Kirk stands on the site of a pre-Christian Druidic mound and it is probable that in the 6th & 7th centuries, a Celtic church existed at here under the auspices of the Culdees.

In the 12th century, a ‘capella’ or chapel existed at Kettins which was subordinate to Coupar Angus Abbey. It was one of six in the area at the time.

By 1249, the Chapel at Kettins had grown in importance, and on 18 April 1249 the site was established in its own right. The house of worship was consecrated as “Ecclesia de Ketnes” dedicated to Saint Brigid, one of the most venerated of the Celtic Saints, by David de Bernham, Bishop of St Andrews.

There is some debate over whether St Brigid was a real person. She has the same name and many of the same attributes as the Celtic goddess Brigid and there are many supernatural events, legends and folk customs associated with her. Like the saint, Brigid the goddess in Irish mythology is associated with poetry, healing, smithcraft, protection and domestic animals. Furthermore, the saint’s feast day falls on the Gaelic traditional festival of Imbolc, the 1st of February. Some scholars suggest that the saint is a Christianisation of the goddess; others that she was a real person whose mythos took on the goddess’s attributes.

The present church dates from 1768, with the north wing added in 1870 and the tower in 1891. There are Sixteen stained glass windows dating from 1878 onwards and the churchyard is famed for its Belgian bell of 1519, complete with belfry, which is sited close to the west gable it once surmounted and its Pictish cross slab.

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