Maison Dieu Chapel, Brechin

  • Maison Dieu Lane, Brechin off the B9134.



William de Brechin founded the Maison Dieu hospital between 1261 and 1267 to serve the poor in Brechin.

The beadsmen, or pensioners, were given free board and lodging in exchange for praying for the hospital’s founder. They prayed in this chapel, and lived in the adjacent hospital.

Maison Dieu’s remains

Of the original medieval complex, only fragments of the church remain:

  • the south wall, featuring three lancet (narrow pointed arched) windows and a fine doorway
  • the east gable of the church, shared with the house next door

The hospital continued to serve the poor throughout the Middle Ages, and after the Protestant Reformation it was transferred to the burgh authorities.

In 1636, the post of precenter, who led the singing in the chapel, was merged with that of schoolmaster at the burgh grammar school. That title was still in use a century later.

By the 1800s, the chapel had been partially demolished and put to use as a stable. A map from the early part of that century shows the chapel backed on to open space. While the hospital would have doubtless consisted of more buildings, their location is not known.


Opening times

Open year-round.

Historic Scotland


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.

Plan your visit

More than 20 of our sites are now open. Please book your tickets in advance.

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.

Learning visits

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.