St Davids Chapel

[St Davids Chapel] [Memorial]

A report about "The New Chapel at Stormontfield" which appeared in the Perthshire Advertiser on 28th July 1897, two days prior to the dedication services which sums up the chapel today.

"As to the building itself, one may safely say that it is one of the most beautiful little churches in the country. It's design may be described as early English. The design, it should be added is due to Mr Mackenzie of Stormontfield a gentleman of no mean artistic instincts." We are very fortunate to have a building handed down for our keeping a great deal of our thanks must go to Mr Mackenzie for his enthusiasm and willpower.

The contractors who made it all come together through their individual skills:-
St Davids Mission Chapel
    MASONS -  Messrs Bruce and Miller
   CARPENTERS - Messrs Stewart and McFarlane
   SLATER -  Mr Chalmers
   PAINTER  - Mr J Whyte
   SUPERINTENDENT -  Mr Pennycook of Stormontfield

rwr mackenzie with westie terrier
Mr R W R Mackenzie was now officially Treasurer of the Building Fund and appointed Architect, Mr Marshall Mackenzie of Aberdeen.  He had been responsible for designing Crathie Church at Balmoral (where the Royal Family worship when staying on Deeside), and had also designed many other churches throughout Scotland. He was given the brief that the Chapel should be able to accommodate 100 people, be of early English design and be built at an estimated cost of 550.  It is interesting to note that the architect's fees amounted to 18 in total for this work.  Seemingly to make the Chapel 'a thing of beauty' a further 200 was spent on it with the result that at the time of completion between 150 and 200 was still owed on the building. It is clear that a Bellcote was shown in the original plans, and it was probably due to the costs involved for the interior of the Chapel that this was never built.

The building was designed on a simple oblong structure measuring externally 56 feet by 19 feet and internally 52 feet by 14.5 feet. The Earl of Mansfield, in the meantime, had gifted the site to the Kirk Session of Scone Parish Church.

From the time sheets of the builders, we learn that work started on the structure on the 15th August 1896.  We also note that casual labourers were paid at 4.5d per hour, whist labourers on the payroll of the builder received 5.25d and the masons 9.5d per hour as their was such a skilled job. This meant that a labourer working a 54 hour week on the site earned 1 3s.6d or in today's money 1.15. Also, if he were off sick for any reason he would not get paid.   The men working at Stormontfield would probably have had to walk from Scone or Perth daily in all weathers, and on muddy road.

"Tak tent o' time ere time be tint, for time will no remain."

Where the Yew Trees are now arched above the entrance path to the Church Door, there used to be a wooden footbridge over St Martins/Colen Burn. A picture of this bridge is shown in the first wedding photo below.

Church Entry

Wedding Day of Heather Shepherd and Jim Wallace in 1959.  The first picture also shows the bridge over the burn.

Wood Bridge at Church entrance

St David’s Church 1959

Inside St David’s

Rev Robertson

Wedding Group

SundialThe sundial was gifted to the church by Mr R W R Mackenzie. Cast from lead and decorated with thistles and gilding, it also has coloured polished Scottish pebbles which look like large jewels in the centre of flower heads. The gnomon is decorated with the royal monogram and the Scottish Lion is prominent in the centre underneath the dates - 1837 VR 1897 which commemorates Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

In January 1985, this unique sundial was stolen. Susan Campbell, who was the Church Officer, discovered the theft at 11am on the Sunday morning when she went to open the Church for worship. The theft caused quite a stir in the local press. A few days later, it was found on British Rail ground in the Craigie district of Perth, and was returned to its rightful place.


Click on the picture of the war memorial to see further details.

Gnoman dated 1837 - 1897

The sundial is an unusual and interesting feature situated on the right side of the entrance into the church, it is inscribed with the words

"Tak tent o' time ere time be tint, for time will no remain."

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rwr mackenzie with westie terrier
rwr mackenzie b&w2