Inveravon Parish Church (sometimes called Inveraven) occupies a sublime location on a bluff above the south eastern bank of the River Spey, which can be heard, but not seen because of screening trees, in the valley below. The parish of Inveravon covers an extensive area and the name comes from the confluence of the River Avon with the River Spey two thirds of a mile to the west of the site of the church.
The church itself can be found a third of a mile down a very narrow single track road that leaves the A95 from a junction overlooked by an old school. This junction is just over half a mile north of the entrance from the A95 to the estate of Ballindalloch Castle, and can also be located by the brown tourist sign directing visitors to the Inveravon Pictish Stones.
What you find on arrival is an attractive white harled box standing close to the foot of the road. The gateway beyond it leads to the manse, now a private home. There is limited parking available immediately adjacent to the church, and more a short distance back along the road. The entrance to the church is via the door in the west gable. Steps lead up to a porch on the north wall of the church, which has been converted to provide shelter for the Inveravon Pictish Stones rather than a door into the church itself.
The churchyard at Inveravon stands behind, or to the south, of the church. It is home to a large number of gravestones and is dominated by a stone mausoleum. This was built in 1829 and commemorates members of the MacPherson-Grant family, residents of nearby Ballindalloch Castle.
At the rear of the churchyard is a stone building whose slate roof is so bent and mossed by the passage of time that it appears to have grown out of the landscape. This stands on the site of an old school, built here in 1633. At that time the main route along the Spey valley passed by the church, which stood at the heart of a small community known as Kirkton. The inn that once stood nearby was put out of business when a new turnpike road was built, on the line followed by the modern A95, further up the valley side in 1792. The school was subsequently relocated up the hill and it seems that Kirkton effectively disappeared, leaving only the church that gave it its name.
The church you see today was built in 1806. It originally had a door in each gable, and a gallery at either end. The pulpit originally stood mid way along the south wall. The building was extensively remodelled in 1876, with the addition of the vestry and porch, and the removal of the western gallery. This allowed the interior to be realigned, with the pulpit and communion table at the west end as they are today: an interesting arrangement as you'd normally expect to find them at the east end.
Inveravon Parish Church is only the latest in a series that have stood on the same site. It is possible that a chapel was built here by St Drostan in the early 600s, and the presence of Pictish stones in the immediate vicinity suggests there was significant activity here during the centuries that followed. The first church we know about on the site was built in 1108 and was dedicated to St Peter, who is also associated with a nearby holy well. It seems that the builders of this church incorporated some of the nearby Pictish stones into its fabric.
The church was extensively remodelled in 1568, at which time it had a turf roof. The roof was replaced in slate in 1633, and as noted above the church was entirely rebuilt in 1806. It was at this point that at least one of the Pictish stones now on display in the porch was found within the structure of the earlier building.
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Grid Ref: NJ 183 376