Daviot Church of Scotland
A fall of snow just before Christmas created traffic and logistical problems - not least for the Eurostar Channel Tunnel train service and its passengers. But it also created some lovely scenes.
The Church of Daviot was granted its charter in the 13th century as a mensal kirk for Elgin Cathederal and the Abbey of Pluscarden. The original church may have been built about the time of the reformation. A later church was certainly built in 1763-4 although no trace remains. (1795 Old Statistical Account Vol. 14 pg70.)
The present church dates from 1826 and is situated beside a small hillock, locally known for generations (at least from the time of the old drove roads) as Cnoc an t'Saigart, the ‘Priest’s Hillock’. (Now across the new A9.)
The contractors were Macphail and Macfarlane (or Macpharlane). The specification and possibly the design was prepared by Alexander Grant factor to The Mackintosh. The contract price was £873 13s 0d. The galleries were removed and the walls were strengthened with steel tie rods in 1936. Daviot and Dunlichity parishes were united in 1618.
After the Reformation there came an unsettled period of national turmoil, with the story of the parish reflecting the conflicting claims of Presbyterianism and Episcopacy. The repercussions continued well beyond the Protestant 'Settlement' of 1690, and the Jacobite defeat at Culloden in 1745, and have been painfully felt in these parts of the Highlands. In the early 19th century, the parish of Daviot became the scene of one of the test cases over the question of patronage, which led to the 1843 Disruption and the establishment of the Free Church of Scotland.
A landmark on the new A9, Inverness 5 miles north. Daviot Church, was formerly known to drovers as the 'kirk of the golden cockerel' because of its distinctive weather vane. Near the church door to the right is the burial plot of the family of the late Rev. Alistair MacLean, the writer father of the famous author of the same name, and to the left is that of the late Rev. Dr. John MacPherson.
The present building replaced a previous building with its separate bell tower, it was completely restored in 1991, with substantial help from Historic Scotland. It is now part of the linked charge of Daviot and Dunlichity with Moy, Dalarossie and Tomatin.