Church History

Panbride Church



The original church of PANBRIDE which stood in the same original setting and commanding position on the summit of Panbride hamlet as the present one does dates from the time of William the Lion 1147. Already dedicated to St Bridget, commonly called St Bride it gave its name to the locally afterwards designated Parish of Panbride,


The Gift

Confirmation of the gift of the church was made by the King in 1211 and 1214 and the church continued in the possession of Arbroath Abbey until secularisation of the Abbey at the time of the Reformation

1843 / 1844

The Disruption

1843 Saw a split in the congregation of PANBRIDE CHURCH as a result of a national disruption and 186 names of those “coming out” from the established Church of Panbride started a FREE PRESBYTERAN CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. Their names were placed on a Communion Roll of that Church. Mr Trail, who presided at that meeting was the son of the Panbride Parish minister and a probationer of the Church of Scotland. He later became a minister of the Free Church. Lord Panmure, land owner and politician, was opposed to the Disruption Movement and refused to grant a site for the new church but a brave friend and a member of the new congregation, Mr Anderson of Westhaven Farm, gave permission to the new congregation to erect a wooden church on land he rented. This was opened on the first Sunday of May 1844 at a cost of £103.


Rebuilding of Panbride Parish Church

Following the disruption, the remaining members of Panbride Parish Church continued to worship at the original church which was a fine cruciform building with large beautiful windows. The passage of time had such an effect that in 1851 it was decided to erect the church which currently occupies the same site. One part of the original building still exists – the burial vault of the Panmure family. This dates from 1681 and remains to this day, The Rt Hon Fox Maule had the unfulfilled ambition of building a spire and tower.


Death of Lord Panmure

Lord Panmure died in 1852 and his successor Hon Fox Maule granted the Deacons Court of the FREE PRESBYTERAN CHURCH a site for a Church and is today known as Newton Church in Arbroath Road. He also gave a gift of £100 and free use of the local quarries at Drumfind.

Lord Panmure (1771 – 1852)


Opening of the New Church

The new church was opened for public worship in 1855



A little over 30 years in November 1887 a disastrous fire occurred after the Communion Day service at the FREE PRESBYTERAN CHURCH and it was 9 months before the members were able to return to services in the church


Panbride United Free Church

In 1900 there was union of THE FREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND and the UNITED PRESBYTERAN CHURCH and from this the congregation became known as PANBRIDE UNITED FREE CHURCH

1903 / 1904

The Challenge

In 1903 /1904 it is believed that the ministers of PANBRIDE UNITED FREE CHURCH and PANBRIDE PARISH CHURCH disagreed about which building had the greatest seating capacity. It transpired that the PARISH CHURCH could hold most but the minister at the UNITED FREE CHURCH set about getting his church enlarged. Many and vigorous arguments for and against proposed changes were advanced and in time the “ayes” prevailed and the church was enlarged several feet towards the roadway thereby giving extra seating especially in the gallery.

1929 / 1930

Creation of The Church of Scotland

In 1929 there was a Union of The ESTABLISHED CHURCH with the bulk of the UNITED FREE CHURCH. PANBRIDE PARISH CHURCH and NEWTON OF PANBRIDE continued as separate congregations with their own Minister, Kirk Session and Office Bearers.


Linked Congregations

The two congregations of PANBRIDE PARISH and NEWTON OF PANBRIDE were linked in 1956 with a joint minister but continued to have their own Kirk Session, Office Bearers, buildings and organisations. The Manse at Panbride was however sold.


The Union

The two congregations of PANBRIDE PARISH CHURCH and NEWTON PANBRIDE were united into one congregation in 1961 and became known as CARNOUSTIE PANBRIDE CHURCH. Services were held in both churches based on an agreed schedule setting out where and when services would be held, They also continued to use Newton Hall, the crèche room attached to Newton Hall, St Brides Hall and the Scryne Hall although they were some distance from each Church and Panbride School when required by the Sunday School.


Panbride Hall

Ground adjacent to the glebe was gifted to Panbride Church several years earlier along with what had been the Beadles house and St Brides Hall they were all sold and the finance from that funded a re-roofing of Panbride Church and met the cost of building an additional hall and toilets adjacent to Newton Church and Hall. This new Hall is now known as PANBRIDE HALL and along with Newton Hall, what was at one time the Session Room and the Crèche Room provides a suite of spaces of varying sizes which are in constant use by Church, community organisations and also for private functions.


Reminder of wooden church of 1843

In 1990 a barn at Westhaven Farm which was linked to the original Free Presbyteran Church of 1843 was demolished and stones from it were uses to build a small memorial wall next to Newton Church.

Stones from the original building used to build a wall


New Kitchen

The original kitchen built to provide facilities for Newton Hall was now too small and out of date so the decision was made to build a new Kitchen and this was added to Panbride Hall. The congregation played a major part in raising the finance required and it has was fitted out meet commercial catering standard. The new facility was opened by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland at that time the Rev Dr David Arnott.

2021 / 2022

Encompassing the use of social media

While there has been a broadband link available link in the Church Office for some years it was slow and unreliable. The Covid pandemic resulted in making what use we could of recording services which could be accessed through Facebook and YouTube. The decision was made to install Wi-Fi in NEWTON CHURCH and this has enabled services to be live streamed. Wi-Fi links have now been set up in the Church Office and both Newton and Panbride Hall

Stained glass windows and other artefacts of interest

Panbride Church

There are examples of old communion tokens – forerunner of communion cards.

Outside are the “Jougs” now attached to the south wall of the vault, a crude iron collar used to punish breaches of church discipline.

The Loupin Stane is a relic of the time when the lady of the house was usually perched on a pillion or saddle behind her husband.

The Loupin Stane.

The fine toned bell which once belonged to the parish Church of Arbroath dated 1664 and inscribed in Latin “For the glory of GodJohn Burgeburys made me. The fear of the Lordis the beginning of wisdom”.

Newton Church

The Bell believed presented to Church by Hon Fox Maule a member of the Maule Family.

Stained Glass Windows:

  • East Transept: In memory of William Nicoll Baker and son of original member Thomas Nicoll. Gifted 1907
    In memory of Mr and Mrs R. S. Wilson. Gifted 1937
  • West Transept: In memory of Rev James Innes. Gifted by congregation 1894
  • Chancel: Two windows, one in memory of Rev James Innes and the other to the memory of Mrs Innes. Gifted by their family 1894
  • Stained glass window in the gallery south wall above the entrance. The window was donated in loving memory of  Alexander Gordon Porter and Elizabeth Malcolm Porter who farmed at Scryne.