From ancient times Kvernes has been of great religious and cultural importance at Nordmøre. The excavation of a white phallus stone, a sacred symbol of fertility, supports this fact. The stave church was built around year 1300 and has a rather large main nave (16×7,5 m) with external diagonal props supporting the walls. Several repairs/reconstructions have been carried out. In 1633 the stave-built chancelwas torn down, and a new one erected in log construction. A baptistery was raised at the western end, windows were put in, and the chancel was decorated with painted scenes from the Bible. In the following decade, the nave and baptistery were decorated with acantus paintings. The vicar, Mr. Anders Ericsen (1603-62) paid all those expenses himself.
The king sold the church in 1725, and it was in private ownership until 1872 when it was bought by the parish.
A new church was built in 1893, and the stave church was saved from demolition when Fortidsminneforeningen (The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments) bought it in 1896.