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Cateran Ecomuseum

Coupar Angus Abbey Kirkyard

One of the Ecomuseum’s most historic churchyards.

The Coupar Angus Abbey Kirkyard sits on a slight prominence in an otherwise low-lying area South of the River Isla and within a loop of its tributary, the Coupar Burn.

The Gatehouse
The Gatehouse is the only remaining part of the Abbey and is a Scheduled Monument. It sits in a separate rectangular area and is owned by Moray Estates. The condition of the arch has been surveyed and it has been found un-safe and in need of urgent repairs which are currently under consideration by Historic Scotland. The drawing from the 18th century suggests that this was the only remaining part of the Abbey still standing. The old plan of the Abbey shows that there were fortified towers at each corner of the walled Abbey Precinct. However, Pont’s Map and Lord Balmerino’s painting indicate a tower.

The Watch House
The roughly octagonal building was erected by public subscription in 1822. However, it re-uses medieval fragments of masonry. In particular the frieze at the top of the wall appears to be sections of the Abbey’s massive fluted columns. Inside, there is a fireplace to warm the men who kept watch through the night for body snatchers, who posed a threat particularly in the first three decades of the 19th century.

The Murray of Simprim Mausoleum
This was built in 1850 as the family burial tomb for William Murray of Simprim, a wealthy landowner. Although built as a mausoleum, the building is anecdotally described as a Mortuary and the interior is fitted out with a sink and a natural stone anatomy slab.

The Key to the Gravestones (below) can be found in Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust’s leaflet on the Kirkyard which you can view in full here.



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