Crathie Kirk is a Church of Scotland place of worship most well known for regular visits by the Queen and Royal Family when they are in residence at Balmoral Castle.
The Kirk is situated across the River Dee from Balmoral Castle on a raised elevation.
There have been places of worship in Crathie since the 6th Century. You can still see the remains of the 14th Century Church within the grounds of the old parish graveyard, situated close by the banks of the River Dee. You can see these ruins from the front of the current Crathie Kirk. Queen Victoria’s personal attendant John Brown is buried here as well as other local people who served her. The old church became too small for the growing population of the parish and a new church was built on the site of the current Kirk in 1805.
This is the church which Queen Victoria attended in 1848 when visiting Balmoral Castle. The custom of members of the Royal Family and their guests worshipping with local people in the parish church started then. Back in 1893 Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of the present Crathie Kirk which was completed and dedicated in 1895. Parishioners and members of the public raised funds for the new build by subscription and gifts. Queen Victoria’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Louise raised £2000 at a Bazaar held in the grounds of Balmoral Castle.