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A focal point for the community

John R Hume offers insights into the fascinating history of a church in a Highland town.

ROTHES is south of Elgin, in Moray, in the heart of the Scotch Malt Whisky country.

It is in a delightful upland area, surrounded by hills from which the water to make the whisky flows. Its sheltered site was recognised at the beginning of the settlement of the area by Norman Scots.

Peter de Polloc, ‘Lord of Rothayes’, built his castle there. The lordship later passed by a series of marriages to the Leslie family, one of whom was made Earl of Rothes in about 1457. The earliest settlement probably clustered round the base of the castle, and had a church dedicated to Our Lady of Grace in the 13th century. In about 1554 a new church was built on a new site, dedicated to St Laurence.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: A LIVING CHURCH - Why reform is needed in the Church of Scotland SCOTLAND’S REFORMATION - St Andrews and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation NEW CHARGE DEVELOPMENTS - Where are they now?