Dunipace Parish Church

Dunipace Parish Church(SMR414 & 415)

NS 839 819

NS 8202 8326

Larbert and Dunipace Old                  1962

1964    Dunipace Old?                                   1989

Denovan Church


The churches of Larbert and Dunipace were chapels belonging to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, and were subordinated to the Church of St. Ninians.  The remains of a socket stone of a cross, probably of medieval date, could be seen until recently on the site of the original church at Dunipace.  After the Reformation one reader did service at both churches

1617: United by Parliamentary Commission with Larbert?  The church at this time lay Hills of Dunipaceadjacent to the Hills of Dunipace.  No trace of it now survives, but it was described as “a very plain building, with galleries in front and ends, afford­ing  accommodation for 350 sitters…From several appearances of arches in  its walls, it probably had originally several aisles attached to it” (N.S.A.).   It was aligned E-W, cruciform in plan.  The main entrance was in the gable of the south aisle, and another, known as the ‘pulpit door’ lay in the south wall of the chancel.

1714:  James Logan, mason in Airth, carried out extensive repairs.   These in­volved totally rebuilding the west gable and inserting a door there.  30 ft of each adjoining side wall also had to be rebuilt.  A stair was put on the north side, leading to a new door giving access to a loft.  Cost £220 Scots.

1834: The old church was in bad repair,  services were interrupted by bats, and the  population  had  removed from its vicinity,  a new  church  was  therefore erected  at Denovan and opened in June 1843.   It was designed by Mr Stirling, Dunblane and the contractors were James Buchan, Abercairney, and John Hutton, Muthill.   It was rectangular in plan, measuring externally 57ft 6ins by 39ft, with a ridge roof and parapet.  A square bell tower, 16 ft 6 ins wide, stands  at the west end,  with a vestry at the east end forming a low extension in that direction.  The masonry is ashlar, and the yellowish freestone has now weathered to grey.   Each side shows three large pointed windows with Gothic tracery and hood-moulds, and buttresses between them.  In the east gable there are two smaller windows, with a decorated circular light above; and at the west end is a single pointed light each side of the tower.  The wall-heads finish in broad moulded bands, which return on the gables, and at the corners diagonal buttresses bear high, ornate finials.   The tower is divided by stringcourses into three stages, the lowermost containing the entrance on the north side and corresponding blind doorways on the west and south.   All these have Tudor arches.   The stage above shows a traceried window on each free side, and the third stage, which contains the bell chamber, three louvred lights a side.  Round  the  top  of  the tower  runs  ornate,  pierced  crenellation,  and  the buttresses,  like  those  on the body of the church,  bear high  finials.   The seating in the interior was arranged to face a pulpit at the east end.   A gallery, reached by a stone stair in the lowest stage of the tower, runs across the west end.   The ceiling is of flat plaster.  The bell-chamber is approached by a small newel-stair rising from gallery level in the SE corner of the tower.  The old church was demolished in 1835.

1873: Re-open after internal improvements and repairs.

1962: Union with Larbert Parish Church broken.

1964: Linked with Denny North under its minister.

1988: December.  Last service, united with Dunipace North Church (formerly the Free Church).

1996: Permission given to convert the old building into a dwelling and book warehouse.


1834: By Stephen Miller and Co, Glasgow, for a cost of £80.

1845: Cast by Messrs Watt and Sons, Glasgow.


See separate entry for war memorial.


A graveyard surrounded the earlier church and is now maintained by the District Council whose new cemetery lies to the NW.   It is enclosed by a drystone wall, with the remains of a watch-house by the entrance.   Some seventeenth century gravestones may be seen.


(See Larbert Parish Church)

G.B. Bailey (2019)