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History

Sir William Cunliffe Brooks built the Chapel of St Lesmo in 1872, from the ruins of the former House of Braeloine. Several features of the House were included in the design of the Chapel, including the cast iron arched gateway, called a Yett.

The Chapel was built with a thatched roof and stained-glass windows, and the spaces between the stones of the walls are built are dotted with small pebbles (a technique known locally as "cherry-cocking"). Inside, the rafters are fashioned from whole trees and the joists are made from curiously twisted branches of locally grown Scotch Fir. The altar steps are of Glen Tanar granite, a soft but rich coloured granite, as is the floor of the passage. Later, deer antlers were hung from the roof and the seats have deerskin coverings.

A bell which was cast to order hangs outside the Chapel and bears the inscription of "St Lesmo". He is the Holy Hermit who lived in Glen Tanar over 1,000 years ago and to whom the Chapel is dedicated. The Chapel was consecrated on 15 November 1871 by the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney.

Improvements and alterations to the Chapel have been made over the years, including the replacement of the thatched roof with old slates from another building. A new organ was installed in 1997. ┬áThe Chapel has been supported for more than a hundred years by the families in residence, three generations of Coats’ and now the Bruce family acting as Trustees. The Chapel has been used for many family events and many of the family rest here now, it was through the interest and generosity of the late Hon Mrs Jean Bruce, nee Coats, who was born in Glen Tanar that the chapel remains consecrated and the Chapel is registered as an independent Episcopal Chapel, and regular services take place throughout the summer.

The Glen Tanar Charitable Trust

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