The original Church of Inverurie (site). The Bass, also known as The old Graveyard of Inverurie, Keithhall Road, Inverurie.
At south end of High Street, Inverurie, take the B993 signposted “Whiterashes”, the old graveyard is immediately after passing under the railway bridge.
The Culdee monks – the servants of God – had based their original headquarters some two miles upriver at Rocharl/Polinar around 800AD, and quickly established a dependent establishment at the confluence of the Don and Ury rivers where there was a sizeable population clustered round the hillock called the Bass. This church was very soon to become the dominant centre of Christianity in the Garioch, with the Celtic/Columban form of worship giving way to the Roman system.
When David, earl of the Garioch re-shaped the alluvial hillock into today’s recognisable mottee and bailey of the Bass, and built his wooden castle thereon, the growth of Inverurie was assured. In 1195, the church was endowed by Papal Bull to the Abbey of Lindores, Fife. The first recorded vicar of the parish was Dominus Ricardus, 1262. The castleyards round the parish church saw the mustering of armed troops on three occasions. King Robert the Bruce gathered his small army there prior to the Battle of Barra in 1306; the Earl of Mar did likewise before the Red Harlaw in 1411; and in 1745, the Bass rang to the gunfire of the Battle of Inverurie which was fought close by.
By 1600, the church was in serious disrepair and at the mercy of the constant river floods. The population had already drifted on to the higher ground of the present town, and after many attempts to effect repairs, eventually, between 1774-1775, a new church was built on the site of the present St Andrew’s, using many of the stones from the original building. Today, no trace can be found of a building which had existed for some 900 years.
Further information can be found in “150 Years of St Andrew’s Parish Church” Booklet – available from St Andrew’s Church office “Inverurie and the Earldom of the Garioch” by Dr John Davidson DD.