The ancient Cowie Church of St Nathalan in Scotland
Saint Nathalan / Nachlan
Bishop of Tullich, Scotland (+678)
Saint Nathalan or Nachlan (+678) is a saint who was active in the district now known as Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He is also known by the names Saint Nachlan and Saint Nauchlan.
Saint Nathalan was born in the village of Tullich, for which he was eventually appointed as bishop. The earliest church in Tullich was founded by Saint Nathalan in the 7th century. He also built churches at Bothelim and Colle. He was a nobleman who cultivated. He possessed a large estate, which he cultivated and distributed his harvest generously to the poor. He was one of the Apostles of that country.
Saint Nathalan is reputed to have built the first small chapel on the windswept clifftop at Cowie sometime during the 7th century.
One very rainy summer the great saint, in a moment’s weakness, cursed the rain which was hindering the harvest. In penitence for his great sin in cursing God’s creation, Saint Nathalan padlocked his right arm to his right leg, tossed the key into the River Dee and set off to walk to Rome to seek forgiveness. Upon reaching Rome he sat down to supper. However, when he cut open the fish laid before him he found the very key that he had thrown into the Dee many months previously. A pool in the river nearby is still known as “the key pool” for this reason.
Saint Nathalan died on 678.