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Part 2 - The Beginnings of History

The beginnings of History


All the preceding script is gleaned from many sources, as no historical records are available.

The first real history is recorded during the years 1178 - 80 AD, when Malcolm, Laird of Kettins witnessed a land deed in Arbroath. Some time before this record, the Roman Catholic Church had stepped in to take over the monastery, giving rise again to a change in religion.

The next historical record of the village comes in the year 1249 AD when the Church Building was consecrated to St. Bridget or Bride by the Bishop of St. Andrews, David de Burnham and was valued at 55 Merks. It is assumed, therefore, that the church was separate from the monastery and could have been built on the same site as the existing church today.


It was also recorded that a well, belonging to the monastery, was leased to the Cupar Abbey (Coupar Angus Abbey) and this well, Bride's Well, is thought to be in the region of the Stoneye Cottages on the eastern side of the Dundee - Coupar Angus Road. This well fed water down to the Abbey by an aqueduct and into ponds containing fish.

A further historical fact is that Kettins monastery/church was responsible for six outlying Chaples which were situated in the following hamlets - PitcUIT, South Coston, Peattie, Muryfolds, Denhead and South Kettins. Each of these sites, within or near the hamlets, would contain a small meeting house and a burial ground in an enclosed area.

In the year 1292 AD, Hugh of Over became Laird of the Lands and again in 1309 AD Patrick of Ogilvy became Baron of Ketnenes. You will notice that the spelling of Kettins changes. During the years the spelling changed many times, as did the allegiance of the church. The monastery would slowly begin to lose its strength and the church, being Roman Catholic, was now controlled by outside influences. At various times Kettins Church paid dues to:- The Hospice of Berwick, Trinity Friars of Dundee, the Church of Peebles and the Resteneth Priory.

There is very little in the way of records of the actual village, only about the Church and the Lairds. To help a little in visualising the village we will take a look at the sketch map of 1756 AD (Appendix 1). It appears that this map, drawn by an unknown hand in 1756 AD was really for the benefit of the Laird of Newhall, since it shows only the Newhall estate and units belonging to it. The ruins of the monastery can be clearly seen, as can the mansion house and outhouses, cottages at the entrance to the estate, the Kirk, Mance (Manse) and a croft belonging to Thos. Walker along with his Mill. Cottages to the West of the Manse are no longer there, but the dried up well can still be seen.

The sketch map of 1819 AD (Appendix 2) is of the same estate some 63 years later and was drafted by one Wm. Blackadder, Surveyor who possibly came from Dundee to survey the estate for the purpose of selling it a few years later. It has now transpired that this survey and record was for the purpose of the "Sale of Newhall" to one William Shaw, who bought it in 1819 AD and sold it to the Hallyburtons in 1860 AD. The main features are still the mansion house and outhouses. The monastery ruins have gone, the stones possibly being used to build other outhouses. However, a path, which we assume was used by the monks to visit Coupar Abbey, is shown as Kirklands Road. Today it is called Trenchfield. A drive from the front of the house comes south to join the Newtyle Road. It can still be seen today but how it crossed the burn is not indicated on the map.


The kind permission was granted to allow reproducing of the above works (The Village of Kettins - A Short History) by copyright owner and author Mr Peter H Marsh

Peter H Marsh


December 1994

Thank you.