A private family chapel
A chapel of St Mary is mentioned in 1365 and 1483, though the present building dates to about 1507.
Innerpeffray Chapel was a private chantry chapel built by John, 1st Lord Drummond, and associated with nearby Innerpeffray Castle. It initially housed four priests, who were to pray for the souls of the Drummond family.
The chapel gained collegiate status by 1542, though it was short lived. The Protestant Reformation of 1560 put an end to its official use as a Catholic place of worship. However, references to provosts in 1581 and 1591 indicate that the Drummonds continued their Catholic worship after the Reformation.
A chapel no more
Innerpeffray Chapel survived the Reformation because it primarily acted as a family mausoleum. By 1680 it was partly used as a public lending library, providing access to the private collection of the Drummond family.
Some of the chapel’s Catholic features survived the Protestant purges. These include:
- the mensa, or altar table, at the east end
- a holy water stoup, or basin, beside the south entrance
- consecration crosses in the plasterwork
- corbels that once supported a loft above the screen separating the chancel from the nave
The church is also home to the Faichney monument, which dates to 1707, and formerly stood in the graveyard. A superb example of the stonemason’s craft, it tells of one man’s pride in his family. It was brought into the church from the graveyard in 1997.