About Lochlee Parish Church
Lochlee Parish Church is one of the three churches remaining in Glenesk.
A picturesque and little-altered church occupying a prominent position by the road into Glenesk. It was built to replace an earlier church, the ruins of which stand at the East end of Loch Lee. The graveyard at the older church continued to be used by some families after this church had been opened, which is why there are so few early 19th century gravestones in this churchyard.
There has been a church serving the remote upland area where Glen Lee and Glen Mark meet to become Glen Esk for nearly 1,500 years. A church was founded by St Drostan in the early 600s on a site a mile to the west of today’s church, close to Loch Lee.
This first church was replaced by one or more successors on the same site, the most recent built some time around 1600. Little now remains of this church, though the kirkyard has some interesting gravestones.
In 1803 a replacement church was build where you see it today. Much of the building material was produced by demolishing the outbuildings of nearby Invermark Castle, while many of the slates for the church roof came from the roof of the castle, so dating back to a major renovation it underwent in 1605.
Nowadays, the continuing need for Lochlee Parish Church for its primary function is not great. Despite this, the church is available for a quiet moment of reflection to the steady stream of hikers passing the gates from the nearby car park at the head of Glen Esk en route for Mount Keen or Loch Lee.