St. Bridget's Kirk

St. Bridget's Kirk is a former church in the outskirts of Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland. It is a shell of a medieval church, dating back at least as far as 1178, and was altered in the 17th century for Protestant worship. It is now in ruins.

History

The church was part of the old village of Dalgety, and the ruins are the only surviving feature of it. It was in existence by at least 11 March 1178 when Pope Alexander III issued a papal bull, calling for the founding of the "Church at Dalgetty with its appurtenances". The church was later appropriated by the nearby Inchcolm Abbey, and in 1244 it was consecrated by David de Bernham, Bishop of St. Andrews.

In 1641, the Rev. Andrew Donaldson became minister at St Bridget's, and oversaw the building of a school. He opposed the imposition of the Episcopalianism of Charles I, and was deposed from the parish for his Presbyterianism. He refused to leave and had to be forcibly removed from the church by soldiers despatched by Archbishop James Sharp. Donaldson was subsequently imprisoned, but due to the shifting political situation, was eventually allowed to return to the parish and resume his duties.

St Bridget's was substantially altered in the seventeenth century, but by the early nineteenth century, had become unsafe. The roof was lost in 1830, and a new church was built half a mile inland.

The Church Today

The ruins are maintained by Historic Scotland. The loft can still be accessed, and the church's piscina survives in good condition. Several gravestones remain in the old churchyard, and a 'keep' is built into the churchyard wall, providing a place from which the church beadles could guard against body-snatchers. The west end of the church contains a burial vault built for the Earls of Dunfermline.Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline was buried in the church. An open air service is held at the church every year in June.