Tibbermore parish church dates from 1632, when the heritors (the local lairds) substantially rebuilt the structure on the medieval east-west alignment - a church dedicated to St Mary existed during the late middle ages. On ceasing to be the parish church, in 1986 it passed into the care of the Tibbermore Charitable Trust. It was acquired by the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust in 2001.
In 1789 James Stobie, architect and surveyor, simplified the building plan by removing an aisle at the east end and stretching the church 10 feet eastwards. Big infilled arches marking the position of the demolished aisle were found on the south wall when the war memorial was erected in 1920.
Other changes in 1789 included making the south windows symmetrical and a new door and porch on the west gable. New galleries at each end gave extra seating, and the pews were rearranged to face the pulpit, which now occupied the traditional Scottish presbyterian position between the central windows.
The north aisle (1810) transformed the church into a late T-plan, capable of seating 600. It was built privately to accommodate the cloth-printing workers in the Ruthven Printfield Company, which had set up nearby in 1792. Its raked stone flooring and simple wooden pews are distinctive and unusual survivors.
In 1874 the present pulpit and the horseshoe seating in a muscular style with recessed Celtic crosses were installed. The seats in the galleries and the aisle were left alone. The stencilled decoration around the pulpit possibly dates from this period also, a rare survival in Scottish country parish church.
In addition to the marble First World War I memorial, stained glass designed by Oscar Paterson commemorating women who served in the war was inserted in the two central windows in 1920. The earliest monument in the church is a large stone tablet set into the aisle wall, erected in 1631 by Sir James Murray of Tibbermore to his family.
The church requires extensive repair and conservation after prolonged neglect. Planning and fundraising for this project is underway.
Access to the church can be arranged with the local keyholder. Please contact us for details.
Friends of Tibbermore Church