Tullich Kirk restoration completed

Invited guests mark the official opening of the refurbished Tullich Kirk. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council
Invited guests mark the official opening of the refurbished Tullich Kirk. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council

A major £250,000 restoration project has been completed in Deeside.

Tullich Kirk - a nationally-important landmark east of Ballater - has been undergoing extensive repairs by Aberdeenshire Council, with support from the North East Preservation Trust (NESPT).

A major restoration project has taken place at Tullich Church

A major restoration project has taken place at Tullich Church

The work was made possible through funding from the council, Cairngorm LEADER, Heritage Lottery Fund, Wolfson Foundation and Historic Environment Scotland.

A new purpose-built display shelter at the church, containing a collection of artefacts, was officially opened by Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson at a ceremony last Friday to mark the project’s milestone.

As part of the £250,000 heritage initiative, the church, dated to the 15th century, has been consolidated and repaired.

Tullich is regarded as an important early Christian site close to the River Dee and in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, with a rich history stretching back to the 7th century AD.

It was originally one of the main settlements in the area, but was moved to the new planned village of Ballater, located at an established crossing of the Dee.

Tullich Kirk was home to an important collection of carved symbol stones, including a class-1 Pictish stone and font.

These were removed in the 1990s for safe keeping and conservation but are to be returned to the new display shelter.

The project aimed to deliver two unique visitor attractions to Ballater including both the display of the stones in the town’s station and the display at Tullich Kirk itself, linked by a short walk along the Deeside line.

Cheryl Roberts, of the council’s Built Heritage team, said: “A number of new finds were identified as part of the project and the council is currently in negotiation with Historic Environment Scotland to decide how best to record, conserve and display these important artefacts to ensure their part in Tullich’s rich story is recognised, protected an promoted.”