Historic Scotland

Opening times

Open year-round.

 

History

Remarkable survival 

Deskford Church’s sacrament house is an extraordinary feature. It sits next to the spot where the church’s altar once stood. 

Sacrament houses are cupboards that held the consecrated host – the wafer believed to be transformed into the body of Christ during Mass – in appropriate surroundings. 

The inscription on Deskford’s sacrament house tells us that it was made in 1551 and donated by Sir Alexander Ogilvy of Deskford and Findlater and his second wife, Elizabeth Gordon.  

The sacrament house is decorated with: 

  • two angels holding the monstrance – the vessel in which the host was exposed for the adoration of the congregation 
  • the recess for the host itself, with quotes from St John’s Gospel and the Book of Genesis 
  • below this are two shields displaying the arms of Sir Alexander and Lady Elizabeth, along with the dedicatory inscription 

Simple spot 

Deskford Church was built in about 1540 as an appendage of Fordyce Church and was dedicated to St John.  

It was altered for Presbyterian worship in the early 1600s. New doorways were made and a laird’s loft, where the landowner and his family worshipped, was installed at the east end. 

The kirk was replaced by a new building in 1872, though the old church’s cemetery is still in use today. 

Download our visitor app

Discover more on the go – the Historic Scotland app lets you find out about Scotland’s most iconic places wherever you are.

Save with an Explorer Pass

Get free entry to Scotland’s top visitor attractions with an Explorer Pass valid for 3 days or 7 days.

Become a member

Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

View learning activities

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.