Croick Church

This pretty little church, which is still in use, is well known for the messages etched in the church window by families cleared from the surrounding land in 1845 as part of the infamous Highland clearances.

Ardgay, Highland

Opening times

The church is open at all times and all are welcome.


IV24 3BS

Croick Church owes its origins to the 1823 Parliamentary Act for Building Additional Places of Worship in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This voted to build 40 churches to standardised designs produced by Thomas Telford. Croick Church was built during the years 1825-1827.

Croick is notable in being exceptionally well preserved. Enter Croick Church today and what you see is pretty much what Thomas Telford had in mind when he turned to his drawing board. The church was built to serve some 200 parishioners living at the time within walking distance in the surrounding glens. The site chosen was adjacent to that of an iron age broch, immediately to the west: and looking at what's left of the broch today, it's easy to wonder whether some of it was recycled into the church.

In 1845 a correspondant from the Times arrived to help blow the whistle on a scandal that had been sweeping across the Highlands and Islands for decades. The clearances were passed off by many at the time as simple agricultural improvements but it meant eviction from land families had farmed for centuries and removal from the only world they had ever known.

An article dated 2 June 1845 related in detail how some 80 people who had been cleared from Glen Calvie, to the south of Croick, had found refuge in a common shelter made from poles and tarpaulins in Croick churchyard. No one knows what became of the 80 refugees living in the churchyard in May 1845. But they are believed to have left their mark before they departed. The east window of Croick Church carries a number of messages inscribed in its diamond shaped panes. 

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of Scotland

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Dornoch Cathedral

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East Church

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One of the finest 18th century parish churches in Scotland, but its roots go much further back.