Fire Destroys Cruden West Church

Cruden West Church consumed by fire this morning

Cruden West Church consumed by fire this morning

A major fire appears to have destroyed the church of Cruden West near Slains Castle, today, Wednesday 18th February.

The blaze broke out at around 7.30 am GMT.  It is not thought that anyone was injured in the incident.  It is unclear at this stage what caused the fire at the old free kirk, which has been closed for several years.

Originally the Cruden Free Church, built on land donated by the 18th Earl of Erroll following the Church of Scotland's "disruption" of 1843, the present building dates from 1885.  It's foundation stone was laid by the Minister's wife, Mrs Murdoch.  She and her husband, the Rev Patrick Murdoch, are the grandparents of Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media magnate.

The full extent of the damage to this local landmark in the village of Hatton has yet to become clear.  However, it appears that the building has been gutted by the fire, entirely destroying its original, Victorian interior.

The disused church has been on the market for some time and the Church of Scotland had intended to sell it for conversion to domestic use.