From June till December, 1876, a much needed transformation went on. In the course of the operations there were raised from the floor of the church several slab-stones, upon one of which was sculptured a cross and sword. The cross is encircled with fleur de Us at each of the points. An inscription had been on the outer rim. of the stone, but the apparently Saxon letters are quite illegible. It is to be regretted that this relic should be again trampled under foot, being now along with other lettered stones used in the flooring of the east end.

The Church is in the form of the letter “T” The top of the letter represents the main section or nave of the building standing east and west; the leg of the letter representing the north aisle. The date of its foundation is lost; and no accuracy accompanies statements of the times at which it was successively enlarged. It was erected at a time when the surface of the ground floor was about 6 feet under its present level; the modern elevation of surface being due to accumulation. The examination of the main section of the church shows that part of the walls, above 4 feet thick, are composed of small round stones, such as may be found on the margin of the Dullan, embedded in mortar, on the same principle as a modern concrete wall. At a point 18 feet from the west end of the main section, the walls were found to have been extended westward, the extension being in a different and evidently later style of masonry. At the point where the addition had been begun there was on the outer surface of the wall a mark of the junction of the two styles of work. Popular belief was that this mark indicated the three spears’ length added to the church by King Malcolm in virtue of a vow on the eve of battle, before defeating the Danes. The masonry of the oldest part of the church is believed to belong to about the 11th century, and the addition at the west end is of later date. In the old Statistical Account, Mr. Gordon, then minister of the parish, describes the church as an oblong square of about 90 feet by 28 feet, and this measurement corresponds to the main section of the building as at present. The church had been roofed 80 years before Mr. Gordon wrote. He urged the renewal of the roof, and the sacrifice of veneration for the antiquity of the church by remodel- ling it in a more convenient form. In 1826 the church was modernized by an addition made to it. That addition was at the north aisle. Probably, at the same time, the galleries were added; and the churchyard was certainly then extended on the north and west. No later alteration was made upon the building till 1876; and the only change in the outward form now is an addition of 10 feet to the north wing, and an improvement in the outside stair leading to the east gallery.

The addition to the north aisle has improved the aspect of the building. Formerly, a door was in the centre of the north gable; and two doors were in the south wall. The latter have been permanently closed; and the only entrances to the lower part of the church are now by doors on either side of the north gable. The two arched windows formerly in the north gable have been removed to the side walls of the extension of the north aisle; and in the centre of the north gable has been placed a hand- some triple window, 15 feet high, with freestone mullions. The north wing is thus lighted from the gable, and by two large windows in each of the side walls, the former especially being of service to those seated in the enlarged gallery. The old belfry surmounting the north gable has been removed, and a new and more ornate steeple added, with chamber for the bell. It may be noted that it is a modern instrument; but in a receptacle in the wall of the church there yet lies the ancient hand-bell. Persons still recollect the old “Ronach Bell” having been used to summon the people to church; and also at funerals the bellman went before the coffin and rung the bell while the body was being carried to the churchyard and during interment.

In excavating at the west end of the main section of the church, near the junction of the old wall with the north aisle, a very interesting discovery was made. A circular-headed doorway was found in the old wall, the head of the door being only about 18 inches above the present level of the floor. In the side of the doorway was found an opening about 6 inches square, penetrating the wall^ a distance of 6 feet. The aperture had been made for the bar by which the door was secured in the inside. This had been one of the old entrances to the church. The doorway is 3 feet wide, and its existence shows that the level of the first floor of the building must have been about 6 feet under the present surface. Excavation was not made to any depth at this point, but the old archway is now exposed to view within the vestry. The new vestry is at the north-west angle of the nave and aisle, and in forming it about 4 feet of the space was provided by removing a portion of the ancient wall.

The west end of the church has been greatly improved. The old curve in the gallery towards the north has been removed, and the gallery squared by the front being placed straight across the aisle. An old window with tour panes in the west gable wall has been enlarged into an arched window, which lights both the lower floor and the gallery.

The greatest change has been effected in the east end of the nave. The old gallery has been removed, and the features of the wall, against which the Altar stood in pre-Reformation times, have been brought into prominence. In renovating this part of the church, several new features were disclosed. Two lancet windows were under- neath the gallery in the east gable wall; and a small square window above the gallery. On removing the plaster from the wall, it was found that the square window had. been formed by closing up the bottom and top of an old lancet window. The architect has restored the window to its ancient form, and the gable wall has now the 3 lancet lights, about 6 feet high and a foot wide at the outside, the aperture widening to several feet inside. The members of the family of Findlater of Balvenie have the lancets filled with memorial windows. The old gallery- stair in the east nave almost hid from view the statue of the Knight of Kininvie standing against the wall. The recumbent statue had evidently been placed in an upright position to be out of the way; but an arched niche has been made in the wall at the north-east corner, and the knight laid on his back. The figure is in armour, the head resting on a pillow, arms folded across the breast, and feet touching the side of a dog couchant. The stone-effigy is believed to be that of Alexander Leslie, who bought the estate of Kininvie from the Earl of Athol in 1521, built the House of Kininvie, and was buried within the Church of Mortlach about 1549.