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Crichton Parish Church

A Category A Listed Building in Crichton, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8438 / 55°50'37"N

Longitude: -2.9903 / 2°59'25"W

OS Eastings: 338082

OS Northings: 661614

OS Grid: NT380616

Mapcode National: GBR 70KW.D0

Mapcode Global: WH7VF.1C9Y

Plus Code: 9C7VR2V5+GV

Entry Name: Crichton Parish Church

Listing Name: Crichton Kirk (Formerly Collegiate Church of S.s. Mary and Kentigern) Including Graveyard

Listing Date: 22 January 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331163

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB753

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Crichton

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Parish: Crichton

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Church building

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1449. Restored Hardy & Wight, 1898, and further renovation Benjamin Tindall, circa 1998. Gothic and Romanesque Cruciform Collegiate Church (nave missing, now T-plan) with central tower on sloping site. Ashlar, moulded base course; cavetto eaves course with carved details.

W ELEVATION: former Nave wall: timber door, studded with thistle hinges in Romanesque arched doorway, square metal ventilators to ground flanking; inset armorial plaque above doorway; in-filled pointed archway on single pillars with foliate caps; original roof raggles of nave roof above to all elevations; remnants of buttress wall to right, buttressed nave wall to left with modern notice board, rectangular studded timber door with thistle hinges leading to stairs on right return; semi-hexagonal corbel topped stair turret to left return, slit light to centre, carved monk's face to top; slit light to left flank. TOWER: single stepped square tower with corbelled parapet and bipartite window with stone mullion to 2nd stage on each elevation: 2 horizontally placed slit lights to 1st stage left and stone gable to W elevation; 2 horizontally placed slit lights to 1st stage right on left return; down pipes flanking window to right return; stone gable with door to right, stone bell-cote to gablehead with single bell to E elevation.

N ELEVATION: chancel to left: later skew gabled porch, 2-leaf round-arched door, studded with thistle hinges; plain Romanesque door surround, square stone with trefoil detail to centre of gable, paired Gothic windows with square quarry to left return; blind wall with adjoining buttress chimney stack to right return; carved Monks' heads cornice above and to eaves; inset pointed Gothic windows, 2 cusped main lights with quatrefoil light above to flanks of porch; buttress to far left; later entrance: wooden door with glazed inset, square window to left, flat roof below right window; N transept to right: skew gable end with Pointed Gothic window (2 cusped lights with quatrefoil light above), sloping bottom sill, inset memorial plaque below; blind left return; 2 inset carved ornamental memorials to blind right return.

E ELEVATION: gable end of chancel: central pointed Gothic window, geometric with 4 main lights, sloping bottom sill; stepped buttresses flanking, skew gabled.

S ELEVATION: chancel to right: steps down to central wooden door, studded with thistle hinges; Romanesque arched doorway; in-filled window above; stepped buttresses (chimney on left) and Pointed Gothic window (2 cusped lights with quatrefoil light above) to each flank; buttress to far right; carved Monks heads cornice above and to eaves. S transept to left: skewed gable end; recessed central Pointed Gothic window; 3 lights with teardrop light above; sloping sill; blind to right return; inset stone framed marble memorial plaques near ground to left return.

Stained glass windows by Ballantine and Gardiner to most, including E chancel: Christ's Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (1899); N transept: Ascension of the Risen Redeemer (1901); S transept: Adoration At Bethlehem (1899) and SW chancel: Christ the Good Shepherd and Apostle John (1908). Fixed square quarry panes to tower. Slated roof with saddle-back tower, metal ridging. Replacement cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: vaulted with crossing arches on single shafts; ogee topped triple sedilia (S wall of chancel), seats now missing; ogee headed piscina (SE corner of S transept) and sacrament house (N wall of chancel). Interior woodwork by Jones & Willis (1899); organ by Joseph Brook & Co. of Glasgow.

GRAVEYARD: rubble boundary wall with curved quoins. Contains stone and cast iron grave markers.

Statement of Interest

Sir William Crichton, Lord Chancellor to James II, built Crichton Kirk. He established a college here in 1449, and the church is a result of this. He was infamous for his involvement in the "Black Dinner" held at Edinburgh Castle at which members of the Douglas family were murdered in front of the King. In 1641, it became the Parish Church for the area, but was considered to be in an inconvenient location for many of the parishioners. By 1839 it was only receiving 290 people, although it sat 600. The church has undergone several major restorations, the most recent being in 1998. Good examples of late Victorian stained glass remain. The church is set within its own burial ground, surrounded by a stone wall with entrances to E and W. Crichton Castle sits to the SW and the manse to its NW, these are listed separately.

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