Church of Scotland ------------

A brief history of our churches


Moy Church (OS NH 772 342) 12 miles south of Inverness.

Earliest record 1222, comes from the charters of Elgin Cathedral granted to churches already in existence. Moy belonged to a larger parish which included Daviot and Dunlichity, Dores and Boleskine, as far as Loch Tarff.

In the late 16th century, Lachan Mackintosh, the 16th chief of the clan, was one of the main public benefactors promising the Presbytery of Inverness to provide both stipend and safe passage to candidates for the ministry, who would be given the pastoral charge of Moy and Dalarossie.

Notable among the clergy of the eighteenth century was Rev James Leslie - whose ministry of fifty years spanned the '45. He died in 1766. No stone to marks his grave.

The present Moy Church was built in 1765 together with the manse now much enlarged. The Church was substantially repaired in 1829, perhaps the date of the present round headed windows and birdcage bellcote.

A significant stone in the graveyard is that of Donald Fraser, blacksmith and 'captain of the five' at the Rout of Moy in 1746.

Moy Church was designated an unnecessary building by the Presbytery of Inverness, the building was kept in use by the congregation until in 2011 it was reluctantly closed.

Dalarossie Church

Dalarossie Church (OS NW 767 242) 3 miles upstream from Bridgend on old A9

Site of an 8th century church dedicated to the Celtic saint Fergus. Dalarossie is said to be derived from Gaelic 'Dail Fhearguis' the field or dale of Fergus.

Inside the church is the baptismal font, formed in the shape of a rough hewn stone bowl, which was found in the glebe adjacent to the churchyard. Also inside, by the door to the vestry, stands an old upright stone slab known as the 'Priests Stone' -Clach an t'Sagairt. In former times it was used as a hand- fasting stone eg. marriage contracts could be sealed with a handclasp through the hole in such a stone. It was also known as the 'bargaining stone', possibly being also used in the witnessing of local land transactions.

The present church was built in 1790 and later repaired and altered in 1856 by the architect George Rhind. Presbytery suggested that the external stairs to the galleries be replaced by internal ones. It was considerably altered in 1904 by W.L. Carruthers to its present interior appearance. The galleries are no longer there. Electricity was introduced in 1958 and more efficient heaters in 1992. The stone steps to the left of the gate take us back to the horse drawn carriages of yesteryear.

The small attatched building at the west gable was built as a watch-house c1820 so that new graves could be guarded against body-snatchers.

Tomatin Church

Tomatin (OS NH 803 283) On old A9 going through Tomatin village

Built 1903, is a fine example of the 'tin' churches erected at the turn of the century by the United Free Church to serve as mission churches and halls in areas of new population.

Many new workers were required for the building of the railway which opened in 1898, as well as the new road and the new distillery.

When the United Free Church reunited with the Church of Scotland in 1929, the tin church became one of the three parish church buildings of Moy, Dalarossie and Tomatin.

For the information above I am indebted to our former minister Rev Lilian M. Bruce who did considerable research into the history of our churches.