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Mortlach Kirk in Dufftown

Mortlach is a parish in Banffshire containing the town of Dufftown. It is situated 11 miles south-west of Keith. This place, which is of very remote antiquity, was originally the seat of a bishopric and there is still extant a charter granted by Malcolm II to the first bishop, in which it is called Morthelac, or Morthlac, a name supposed to be a corruption of the Gaelic Morlay, signifying "a great hollow" and minutely descriptive of the situation of its church.

The church, dedicated to St Moluag, has been a site of Christian worship since AD 566. It was enlarged by Malcolm II in fulfilment of his vow on the occasion of his victory over the Danes in AD 1010. In the north wall are inserted three skulls of Danes slain in that battle, which are still in a state of entire preservation. It was again enlarged in 1824 but retains its mediæval proportions.

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