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Page history last edited by fiona-jane 16 years ago

Barthol Chapel Community Association's Page



Barthol Chapel is a small village in the parish of Tarves, some 4 miles south of Methlick and north west of Tarves. There is a primary school, with over 40 pupils, built in 1968 to replace the old school which was built in the 1920s. There are eighteen houses in the village itself and several farms and crofts in the area. Barthol Chapel Church was built in 1875; within the village is the old graveyard. The main a occupation of people in the area is agriculture, but several people work in the oil industry or commute to Aberdeen.


Judith Sleigh and Jennie Chalmers are our main contacts for the village - their interviewees are:


  • Mackie Bruce
  • Bill & Amelia Jaffray
  • Robert Rearie
  • Tondie Davidson
  • George & Anna Jamieson
  • Yvonne Phillips


History of the Village



Barthol Chapel lies approximately 20 miles north west of the city of Aberdeen and 10-12 miles from Inverurie, Ellon and Turriff.  It is a working rural area, with well-established farming families, although the residents of the village now are involved in a variety of occupations – education, business, oil and oil-related occupations; some commute daily to Aberdeen.


Twenty-five years ago the core of the village comprised six houses. In February 2007 there are fifteen, with three more in the process of construction. The school and the church form the focal points of the village, providing the venues for various community activities – SWRI, indoor bowling, Sunday School, social evenings, concerts and sales of work.


The present school was opened in 1968 as a semi-open plan community school. The head teacher at that time was Mr. Douglas Balch; in 2007 it is a two-teacher unit and, although the roll has seen marked fluctuation over the years, it is now relatively stable at around 40-45 pupils. The building is well appointed and has a rather splendid stage, complete with stage lighting.


It is the third school to be built in Barthol Chapel; the previous one was erected on a site directly opposite the present building, on what is (February 2007) now the site of new houses. The original school, vacated in 1929, was situated near the old cemetery; it is now a dwelling house.


In 1875 the Gordon Memorial Church was erected by the Dowager Countess of Aberdeen in memory of her eldest son, George, who was lost at sea in 1870. The site was chosen so that the church could be clearly seen from Haddo House, seat of the Earl of Aberdeen, some three miles away. The first minister was Rev. Mr Forrest, who was translated to Lonmay in 1878; he was followed by Rev. A. R. Sutter. The district of Barthol Chapel became a quoad sacra parish in 1876 i.e. formed from parts of other parishes.


According to the Thanage of Fermartyn, the quoad sacra parish may be said to represent the chapel (or kell) of Futchul, the name of a district whose chapel is mentioned, with the parish church, in charters of 1220-29. It is thought that the name, Barthol Chapel, is derived from the St. Bartholomew link. Barthol Chapel became a linked charge with Tarves in 1958.



Ministers at Barthol Chapel:

1876-1878 Rev. James Forrest

1879-1924 Rev. Robertson Sutter

1825-1927 Rev. W. G. Robertson

1928-1935 Rev. John McLean

1935-1958 Rev. W. Cowper Robertson

1958-1963 Rev. Charles Stuart

1963-1978 Rev. Alisdair Macdonnell

1980-1991 Rev. William Murdoch

1991-1999 Rev. Leslie Barrett

2001-2004 Rev. Alan McKean

2007- Rev. Isobel Buchan



Farming was and still remains the focus of the community, with changes over the years to fewer, bigger farms and from mixed farms i.e. crops, cattle and sheep, to more of an emphasis on wheat, barley and oil-seed rape.


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