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Restenneth Priory

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Restennet, an ancient parish of central Forfarshire, now forming the northern district of Forfar parish, which hence is legally known as Forfar-Restennet. A sheet of water, called Restennet Loch, on the Rescobie boundary, was drained at great expense, in the latter part of last century, for the sake of obtaining a rich supply of shell-marl in its bed. A peninsula, projecting into the lake from a very narrow isthmus, rose into an eminence, which was crowned by a priory, 1½ mile ENE of Forfar. At Restennet St Bonifacius is said to have baptized the Pictish king, Nectan, in 710, and to have dedicated a church to St Peter (see Rosemarkie); and on the site of this church David I. founded an Augustinian priory, which Malcolm IV. made a cell of the Abbey of Jedburgh. The roofless priory church, repaired during 1863-66, is First Pointed in style, and has a NW broach spire 70 feet high. It served as the parish church of Forfar till 1591, and was afterwards the burying-place of the families of Dempster and Hunter. Traces remain, too, of a cloister-garth 60 feet square.—Ord. Sur., sh. 57, 1868.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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