Highland Kirkyards Project


Over a number of years the Trust received requests from local communities and local heritage societies seeking assistance with the conservation and consolidation of their kirkyard buildings comprising standing structures other which were of great significance but invariably overlooked, neglected or forgotten and often very much at risk. Many of these sites are places where our ancestors have been laid to rest, and in the past have played a key role in community life.


It was during the development of a scheme for the conservation and consolidation of Alness Old Parish Church that the need for a strategic approach in the Highland area became apparent. The Trust decided to undertake a pilot project in the Highland Council’s administrative area of Ross and Cromarty to assess the scale of the problem with a view to the approach being rolled out across the other areas in the Highlands. The audit included all standing structures within kirkyards: roofless or redundant churches, chapels, mausoleums, burial enclosures, watch house, and bell towers but it excluded personal memorials, grave slabs and table tombs. One of the main aims of the audit was to identify priorities to the development of a strategic project for the care and conservation of kirkyards buildings in Ross and Cromarty.

Design Team

Bryony Robinson MSc Graduate European and Regional Conservation, University of Dundee
Andrew Wright Architect and Heritage Consultant


The Ross and Cromarty pilot project would not have been possible without the assistance of Historic Scotland, The Highland Council, the Highland Leader Programme and Shell STEP.

Funding was secured from the following organisations: