The Faith of the Families
of
The Castle of St Monance

The faith of those who have resided in and about the castle has reflected the country's changes in faith.  The original inhabitants of the area would have followed the sun or nature or Druids. 

Little is known of the saint after whom the village is named.  However, when St Monan came
(or his bones were brought for veneration) the folk thereabout would have been converted to the new Celtic Christian Church

which would remain the dominant and growing faith until,
under the influence of Queen, and later Saint, Margaret, the country adopted the Roman Catholic faith. 

StMargaretOfScotland.jpg
Saint Margaret

By the time Alan Durward was a part of Alexander II's

court his family would have undoubtedly been a faithful follower of the new faith.  Lords and ladies of his class and power were prominently associated with the building and support of chapels, churches and monasteries.  Deer Abbey in Aberdeenshire and Lindores in Fife were beneficiaries of both Durward and his wife Margaret's largesse.  The original chapel to St Monan was of his construct in the mid-1200's.  In later years a Black Friars abbey was established beside the church but that was long after the Durwards were gone. 

The affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church would have continued
throughout the period of unknown owners and that of Agnes Moncreiff and Sir Thomas Scott. 
Thomas Scott was the subject of a tale related by John Knox


John Knox

 concerning his appearance in the dreams of King James V the night Scott died. 
According to Knox in his "History of the Reformation" [ed. 1644, p.25], Scot visited the
king at Linlithgow on the night of his own death 'with a company of devils,'
announcing that he [Scott] was 'adjudged to endless torment',
in warning to the King that he too would end there
for being a follower of the Roman Catholic faith,
rather than accepting the call of Knox and the Reformers. 

The Sandilands were early converts to the teaching of Knox and were
influential go-betweens for Mary, Queen of Scots,
who visited St Monance Castle on three occasions during her short reign.

mary-queen-of-scots_lrg.jpg

Christian Fletcher was the second wife of James Sandilands, 2nd Lord Abercrombie,
the last of his family to reside at St Monance Castle. 

Christian Fletcher Hiding the Royal Regalia
Christina Fletcher hiding the Royal Regalia.

 In 1652 Christian was responsible for thwarting the English
by smuggling the royal regalia out of Dunnottar Castle as they besieged it.

 

 while it was under siege by General Lambert and then burying it with her first husband,
the Reverend James Grainger, beneath the altar of the Kinneff Church.

David Leslie, First Lord Newark
David Leslie, First Lord Newark

David Leslie was initially a strong defender of the Covenant,
and although he subsequently went to the aid of King Charles II
after the regicide of his father, the Scot Charles I,
his faith remained staunchly Presbyterian
despite the misguided efforts of the clergy which led to the Dunbar defeat
and throughout his nine year imprisonment in The Tower in London. 

St Monans Kirk
St Monans Kirk

General Sir David Leslie, the first Lord Newark, was buried under the
Kirk in St Monans.  During renovations to the church in the late 19th century,
his bones were turfed into the sea.  This, despite his remains having been
identified by the purple silk, lace and scull cap in which he had been buried.

The Church of Scotland maintained its firm association with the Castle
for 400 years until the Crewe-Nelson family became owners. 
In the Spring of 2007 Nola was awarded her Masters of Divinity
from Wycliffe College, a low Anglican Seminary at the University of Toronto
and is currently a Priest in the Diocese of Toronto.