Stracathro Church ***

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When you see the church for the first time you might wonder why this unassuming small building should be a ***star "attraction".

In 1296, in this very churchyard John Balliol handed over the realm of Scotland to the Bishop of Durham, representative of Edward I (“Hammer of the Scots”). It must have been a pitiable drama when Baliol was forced to renounce his alliance with the French king.  He was made to sign a document admitting he had allied himself with his feudal overlord's enemies and surrendered his kingdom to Edward. His surcoat was publicly stripped from his body, humiliatingly removing the arms of Scotland.  Three days later, at Brechin, dressed in a plain white gown, King John gave up his kingdom to the same bishop Antony Beck. His abdication led to Robert the Bruce claiming the throne of Scotland ten years later. Balliol's ceremonial disrobing has been described as one of the saddest hours in Scottish history. The current church at Stracathro was built in 1799 on the site of the medieval church, which, by 1792, was described as ruinous.