Bracheli.

 

Associated Chapels: (none known).

OS Ref: NH 796529    RCAHMS No: NH 75SE 7

St Ewen's church, Bracheli, stood on the 'main road' to the Chanonry Ferry which was operated by the Canons of the Cathedral of Ross across the narrows from what is now Fort George. Wade's Military Road followed this same ancient route. From early days the Chapter of Ross jealously guarded their hold of this ferry and its revenues (which would have been considerable) and, of course, the Parish of Ardersier, although it was on the south side of the Firth, was always a part of the Diocese of Ross. Bain suggests two reasons for thinking that this, like Petty, was a Columban foundation. Firstly, its churchyard was a place of extraordinary sanctity, and still continues to be regarded as specially sacred ground, even by many far removed from the immediate district. Secondly, it seemed unlikely that the Roman Church would have made it a separate parish, looking at its small extent, had it not existed previously as an ecclesiastical foundation. The old glebe was at Balsparden.

 

Bracheli churchyard today.

The yew trees possibly show the position of the old church.

The church of Bracheli was, with that of Petty, made in to an ordinary prebend of the cathedral during the time of Bishop Andrew de Moravia (1224x42). This gift was made by his kinsman Walter de Moravia. At this time the vicarages of the two churches were combined and served by a single cleric.

Nothing remains today of the church building but the graveyard is still in use. One humble tombstone bear the following revealing inscription:

Sixty winters upon the street,
No shoes or stockings on his feet,
Amusement both for small and great
Was poor Johnnie Laddie.

 

 

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