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Latitude: 57.1107 / 57°6'38"N
Longitude: -2.8075 / 2°48'26"W
OS Eastings: 351191
OS Northings: 802482
OS Grid: NJ511024
Mapcode National: GBR WQ.6208
Mapcode Global: WH7N9.VJ9Q
Entry Name: Coull, St Nathalan's, Coull Parish Church Including Churchyard, Morte House, Boundary Wall and Gatepiers
Listing Date: 25 November 1980
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 333940
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB2966
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
1796 incorporating 17th century gable end and birdcage belfry, restored 1876. 4-bay, Rectangular-plan, plain Neo-Classical-style church. Squared and tooled granite. Semicircular-arched windows.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: gable end with disused rectangular timber door to centre, flanked by tall narrow windows, large oculus to gable head. Gable terminating in birdcage belfry; terminating in projecting cornice supporting semicircular arch pediments and ball finials to corner, ball finial to crown.
E (REAR) ELEVATION: small gabled porch to centre, paired tall narrow windows to gable end, entrance to left return, ball finial to apex of gable.
N (SIDE) ELEVATION: blind side wall d 19th century with single storey, gabled, boiler house abutting to W end.
S (SIDE) ELEVATION: 4-bay regular fenestration.
Multi-paned, timber frame, sash and case windows. Grey slates, lead flashing, small gablet vents to roof. Coped skews terminating in small skewputts.
INTERIOR: entrance to small, E end porch; double timber doors to plain main interior, panelled timber dado, painted plaster to eaves, painted combed timber ceiling; 19th century stained glass to W end; vestry and disused W porch to rear of nave. Interior fittings added 1925 including pews with fitted oil lamps, altar, elders' chairs and organ. Vestry to rear houses, probably 19th century, long handled collection boxes and lead communion tokens.
CHURCHYARD: a large rectangular area of ground also containing church standing on slightly raised ground above river flood plain. Tombstones bear name of local farms; Reekitlane, Titaboutie (see separate listing for Titaboutie), Lochmanse, Boghead and Wester Coull (see separate listing for Wester Coull). To NE corner of churchyard stands square monument with marble plaques dedicated to Rev James Paterson, died 1789. The grave slab of James Middleton, 1751, S of church, is boldly carved with death motifs including hour glass, winged angels, crossed bones and skull. Similar carving at Lumphanan and Tarland churchyards suggest work of same mason.
MORTE HOUSE: mid 19th century. Single storey, rectangular ?plan, gabled morte house. Roughly tooled, squared granite. Solid timber door with strap hinges to centre of W gable end. Sides and rear partially embedded in rising ground. Turfed roof, coped skews to gable ends.
BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: squared rubble wall; roughly pointed, large squared coping stones. Cylindrical, squared rubble piers with rendered conical caps.
Ecclesiastic building in use as such. Church upgraded to Category B 18/12/2001. St Nathalan is believed to have been a 7th century monk (died 678) who founded the first church on the site, he also founded churches at Tullich, Deeside and Cowie, Stonehaven. As is often the case, the site of an early church and early castle are closely linked and the remains of Coull Castle (Scheduled Monument) stand 300m SE of the churchyard.
The first record of a church on the site dates from 1188 when the 'Kirk of Cula in Mar' was bestowed upon the Abbey of Arbroath by King William the Lion. The church appears in tax records for 1250, 1275 and 1453. The first recorded minister was James Reid in 1574. The minister in 1651, Andrew Gray, was described by Earl of Aboyne as "little Mr Andrew Gray, though void of wit, yet full of yeires". The church bell was made by Burgerhuys, Holland in 1642 and belonged to the previous church building, gifted by Alexander Ross of Coull it bears the Ross arms.
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