Memorial Inscriptions of Keithhall and Kinkell

The Burial Grounds of Keithhall and Kinkellkeithhall cover 01

Revised and Expanded

Kinkell was an ancient parish, but must have proved too small to support a Minister, because in 1754, it was “suppressed” (to use the old terminology), part of its territory being ceded to the parish of Kintore, and the remainder being added to Keithhall. After the amalgamation of the parishes, burials continued around the ancient kirk of Kinkell, and at Monykeggy (site of the original kirk of Keithhall). A new church for the combined parish was opened in 1771, but burials do not seem to have started at this new site until the 1880s, and even then, the two older kirkyards continued in use.

There were two other burial places within the parish. At Kinmuck, there was a Meeting House and burial ground belonging to the Society of Friends (Quakers), and within the grounds of the estate of Keithhall (formerly Caskieben) is what we might call a “funeral grove” - an avenue of yew trees, interspersed with monuments to members of the family of the Earls of Kintore.

In 1984, ANESFHS published “The Kirkyard of Keithhall & Kinkell”, but that booklet covered just two out of the five burial sites - the ancient kirkyard of Kinkell and the new kirkyard of Keithhall. Versions of the inscriptions from Old Keithhall (Monykeggy) and from the Quaker Cemetery at Kinmuck were included among the “unpublished MIs” held at the Library in our King Street Research Centre, and Helen Taylor more recently produced a revised version of Monykeggy.

For this new publication, Heather Mitchell and Gavin Bell have re-visited all these sites, making corrections, noting additions to the original inscriptions, and adding new stones. We have also recorded the inscriptions in the “funeral grove” - possibly just in time, as gales over the winter of 2022-23 have brought down many trees on the Keith Hall Estate.

As ever, we found that the Victorian antiquarian Andrew Jervise had preceded us, at Kinkell, Kinmuck and Monykeggy. He only ever recorded a minority of stones (typically those commemorating what he called “men of mark” or “good and faithful servants”), but we have included his versions where they can fill any gaps.


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