The foundation stone was laid on 5 July 1913, it was specified that the work should all be done using local tradesmen. The building was scheduled to be completed by 1916. However, World War One broke out in August 1914 and Lord Ninian was called up as commanding officer of a Welsh territorial battalion. He was killed at Loos, northern France on 2 October 1915 aged 32.
The Estate was inherited by his six-month old son Michael. Work to the chapel ceased. Though some minor repairs were carried out for some years after, the family felt that 'completion of the Chapel just now is out of the question'. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that further work was undertaken on the roofless shell by Major Michael Crichton Stuart, Laird of Falkland Estate. The plan was to use the building as a family burial place. Michael's mother, the former Lady Ninian, was the first burial in 1974. There are plaques on both sides of the chapel listing the family members who are buried or commemorated there.
The first names were carved by the sculptor and family friend Hew Lorimer of Kellie Castle. Nearly a century after the foundation stone was laid in 1913, the chapel, a B-listed building, underwent a major restoration of the fabric funded by the Fife Environment Trust, the Pilgrim Trust and Dalrymple Donaldson to secure and preserve it for the future.
Public Access to the Memorial Chapel
Public access has been improved with new pathways, seating and landscaping. Today the Memorial Chapel is available for anyone who wishes to spend some time apart. If the gates are locked, please ask for the key. The Chapel is available for small functions such as weddings or naming ceremonies.