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St Lesmo's Church

A Category B Listed Building in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.0526 / 57°3'9"N

Longitude: -2.8601 / 2°51'36"W

OS Eastings: 347923

OS Northings: 796051

OS Grid: NO479960

Mapcode National: GBR WN.9NH0

Mapcode Global: WH7NH.1ZBT

Plus Code: 9C9V343Q+2X

Entry Name: St Lesmo's Church

Listing Name: Glen Tanar Estate, St Lesmo's Chapel, Including Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 24 November 1972

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 330237

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB44

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aboyne and Glen Tanar

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Parish: Aboyne And Glen Tanar

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Tagged with: Church building

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Circa 1870, incorporating arched gate and using stones from 17th century Braeloine Farmhouse. Single storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan chapel, with late 19th century addition, probably by George Truefitt, to SW and 1937 tower to NW. Granite rubble with terracotta cherry-cocking; squared and snecked, rough-faced addition to SW, finely finished to margins. Rubble base course; long and short quoins; chamfered reveals; timber eaves course.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; regular fenestration to each bay; 17th century round-headed arch to outer left, with roll moulding, decorative pink and grey granite floor; late 19th century addition behind, doorway with stop-chamfered reveals, boarded timber door with iron studs; bipartite, pointed-arched window to single bay, late 19th century bay to outer left.

NE ELEVATION: symmetrical; gabled, 2 small windows set in gablehead; replacement granite cross to apex.

NW ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 4-bay; window to penultimate bay to left and bay to outer left; 1937 piend-roofed tower advanced to penultimate bay to right, slate-roofed porch with modern boarded timber door to right return, window to re-entrant angle to right; window to bay to right. 2-bay, late 19th century addition to outer right, bipartite pointed-arched window to bay to left, bowed bay advanced to right.

SW ELEVATION: gabled; ground floor obscured by advanced 2-bay, late 19th century addition, quadripartite pointed-arched window to left, pointed-arched window to right, outer right obscured by tree. Bell mounted on timber panel reading "S. LESMO/S" set in gablehead.

Leaded stained glass windows, barred or protected by wire mesh. Grey slate roof with stone ridge; grass roof to late 19th century addition. Stone skews with simple skewputs. Coped circular wallhead stack to late 19th century addition. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Glen Tanar granite flagged floor; granite altar; rustic timber pews, roof and lectern.

BOUNDARY WALL: low granite rubble boundary wall surrounds chapel.

Statement of Interest

The Glen Tanar Estate was originally a deer forest which was part of the Aboyne Castle Estate. In 1869 Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, a Manchester banker and MP, bought the estate from the 10th Marquis of Huntly. His grave survives in the graveyard, and is a replica of an ancient cross from Aboyne Castle. Brooks employed Thomas Mawson to layout the garden and estate, George Truefitt as architect, and 250 masons to construct the buildings, built of granite quarried locally. Built on the site of the "auld hoose" of Braeloine (featured on 1st Edition OS Map), and incorporating its ancient arch, St Lesmo's Chapel originally had a heather thatched roof. It was built as the Brooks family chapel, consecrated by the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney on the 15th of November 1871. St. Lesmo was supposedly a holy hermit who lived in Glen Tanar, and introduced Christianity to the area (d. AD 731). The saint is remembered in one of the churches stained glass windows. George Coats followed Brooks as owner of Glen Tanar, and indeed became the first Lord Glentanar. The 2nd Baron of Glentanar was a musician, and in 1936 acquired the organ (which dates from 1874) from his brother-in-law, the 5th Duke of Wellington, the pipes of which are housed in the tower to the NW.

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