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Birnie Kirk, the first Cathedral Church of Moray, built c.1140

Birnie is a parish in central Morayshire. It is bounded on the west, north, and east, by the parish of Elgin, to the south-east by Rothes and to the south-west by Dallas. The distance from the north to the south is about five miles and from the east to the west about two miles.

The parish is intersected by three rivulets, the Lennock, the Barden, and the Rushcrook, which flow into the River Lossie. The Lossie taking its rise in the parish of Edinkillie and gliding through the parish of Dallas, receives the burn of Lennock on the west side of Birnie Parish, then flows through the northern end, and, after a course of about 25 miles, falls into the Moray Firth at the harbour of Lossiemouth.

Birnie Kirk is a Church of Scotland church built c. 1140 which became the first cathedral of the Bishop of Moray. It remained the cathedral church until 1184 when Bishop Simon de Tosny died. His successor Richard de Lincoln moved the seat to the church of Kinnedar. The church is one of the oldest in Scotland to have been in continuous use.

The nave was shortened by a few feet in 1734 but the remainder is the original 12th century structure. The building is constructed of finely cut ashlar blocks. It is simply designed with a nave and a smaller chancel. The nave and chancel are partitioned by a striking Romanesque arch. A baptismal font, contemporary with the building, sits in the corner of the nave.

In the grounds stands a Class I pictish symbol stone, attesting to the area's long history. The circular nature of the grave yard suggests that the church overlies an earlier, Dark Age site. It was listed in 1971 as a category A building.[1]