Andrew Bonar


(Click on images to see larger photograph)

On 20th September, 1838 Andrew A. Bonar is ordained at Collace in Perthshire.
Click on the map to see where Collace is in Scotland.

Map of Scotland

From 1838 until 1843 he is in the old Church in Kirkton of Collace, near Perth and Dundee.

Map of Collace

This turning to Collace is from the B 953 (between the A90 and A94).
This is the road Andrew Bonar would likely have used to travel to Dundee.

Road to Collace

The landscape from Dunsinnane Hill before going down into Collace village ,
with lovely views of the distant mountains.

View from hill above Collace

The signpost to Collace Church, in Kirkton of Collace,
appears after passing through the tiny village.

Sign to Kirkton of Collace

Before arriving at the church, the old church manse is on the left, hidden in trees, at the foot of Dunsinnane hill,
which is said to have belonged to MacBeth, King of Scotland from 1040 to1057.

Kirkton church manse

The church at Kirkton of Collace looks as if it is set in the middle of nowhere,
and behind it, in the churchyard, there is a part of a ruined building.

Church of Collace

The Kirkton, where Andrew Bonar lived before moving to the new Free Church manse.

The Kirkton

This ruined old building is possibly the original church, consecrated in 1242,
and turned into a mausoleum for the Nairne family in 1812, when the present church was built.

The 13th century church-remains

The pulpit inside the church is still the same as in Andrew Bonar's days, but was placed
to the left corner in 1919 to make place for a large stained glass window, commemorating
Mr. Bernard, and installed by his widow.

Pulpit in Collace church

The old pulpit Bible which would have been used by Andrew Bonar.

Old pulpit Bible

The inside of the pulpit where Andrew Bonar preached during the years from 1838 until 1843.

Inside of pulpit

Looking from the front into the church. All the furniture is as it was in Andrew Bonar's time,
although the church was renovated around 1900 by the Bernard family.

Interior of the church

In the vestry is a hand-written list of past ministers.

Register of Ministers

The walls of the vestry are lined with photographs and pictures of past ministers.
This large photograph of Andrew Bonar had been found with other old things, and rescued.

Photo of A. Bonar hanging in vestry

In 1843 Andrew Bonar, with other ministers, left the Church of Scotland in the 'Disruption'
(the leaving party became the 'Free Church', governing itself and choosing its own ministers),
and most of the congregation followed him.
They moved to Kinrossie where they built the new church, which is now the village hall.
The site for the new Free Church was given by Mr. Nairne of Dunsinnane.

Free Church at Kinrossie

The inscription above the door is from Rev. 17:14.
The Free Church was built in 1843 and opened on 12th November.
Andrew Bonar's first sermon in the new church was on the text from Revelation.

Inscription from the Bible

A new manse was also built, and Andrew Bonar moved there in September 1848,
five months after his marriage to Isabella Dickson.

Free Church manse

A close-up of the manse, with grateful thanks to Mr. and Mrs. McLean
who live in the manse, which is now called 'Bonarwood',
and who showed me the house and let me take photographs.


When Andrew Bonar left Collace in October 1856, he wrote in his diary:
"Every road in this neighbourhood, every house in this place, almost every tree I have passed,
might witness to some mercy."

I would like to thank Revd Robert J Watt for his help in giving me information
and directing me to Mr. Martin Paine of Kinrossie, who showed me the inside of the church,
and made me aware of the following book:

 In 2000 this little book was published by the Collace Parish Millennium Committee.
The chapter on The Church has the following paragraph:
"At Collace, the Revd Andrew Bonar - whose photograph hangs in our church vestry - was one of the "breakaway" ministers of 1843. He and his new congregation astablished Collace Free Church, building what is now the Kinrossie Village Hall as their church and a manse, now Bonarwood on the A94 at the Kinrossie turnoff."
The cover photograph is of Dunsinnane Hill.
 A History of Collace Parish

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This page created 30 May 2001- Updated 27 January 2017
With thanks to my husband A.L.Newble who took some of the photographs