The Historical Background to the Site of Rutherglen Old Parish Church

The First Church Building

According to David Ure’s History of East Kilbride and Rutherglen published in 1793, the site of the present church may originally have been a centre of Druid worship. The evidence for this was a circular ring of trees which enclosed the graveyard up until the 17th century – circular rings of trees being typical of Druid ‘groves’. The earliest surviving records of the graveyard round the church date from 1262 A.D.

There has been a church building on the site of the present church for 1400 years. The first church was founded in the 6th century by St. Conval, a disciple of St. Kentigern, the Patron Saint of Glasgow. It was replaced around 1100 A.D. by the Second Church Building so it is perhaps not surprising that no images of the First Church survive.

Wattle and daub were the materials reported to have been used in the construction of the First Church Building. As daub was not particularly durable it was probably replaced on a number of occasions so there were probably several "First Church" buildings.

Different sources specify a variety of dates as St Conval's Day. Forbes's Kalendar of Scottish Saints has his feast day as 28th September. Communion is celebrated in Rutherglen Old Parish on that date or the Sunday following.

During the time of the First Church building the church in Scotland adhered to the Celtic tradition.


Our Four Buildings

This page relates to the First Church Building.  

You may also be interested in information about the following buildings:
  The Second Church
  The Third Church
  The Fourth Church

We look forward to welcoming you to our present (fourth) building any / every:
Sunday at 11 a.m. or
Thursday at noon.