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Borthwick Church

A Category B Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8256 / 55°49'32"N

Longitude: -3.0091 / 3°0'32"W

OS Eastings: 336881

OS Northings: 659609

OS Grid: NT368596

Mapcode National: GBR 71F2.BJ

Mapcode Global: WH7VD.RT9X

Plus Code: 9C7RRXGR+69

Entry Name: Borthwick Church

Listing Name: Borthwick Kirk (Church of Scotland)

Listing Date: 22 January 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331224

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB804

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Church building

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Thomas Brown of Brown & Wardrop, 1862-64; incorporating remains of 12th century apse, 15th century Arniston Vault (sacristy) and S transept. Cruciform-plan, Gothic Revival kirk with broach spire to tower. Squared and snecked sandstone ashlar with polished dressings. Base course; traceried pointed arched openings with hoodmoulds and carved label-stops; moulded eaves course; gableted skewputts; angle buttresses.


3-stage tower with stone broach spire. 1ST STAGE: pointed-arch doorway with nook-shafts to N elevation; 2 leaf boarded door with decorative wrought iron hinges; small pointed arched window above; pointed-arched window to E elevation; flat arched window to W elevation with small flat arched window above; right buttress containing stair to 2nd stage. 2ND STAGE: blank. 3RD STAGE: pointed-arched traceried louvred openings to each face; cornice above with carved eagle grotesques. Wrought iron finial to spire.


W ELEVATION: 3 pointed arched windows at ground; rose window above; louvred trefoil opening set in gablehead. S ELEVATION: 5 bay. S transept advanced in penultimate bay to outer right (see below). Windows in remaining buttressed bays. Small lean to stove room to outer right. N ELEVATION: tower to outer right (see above); N transept, Arniston Aisle, Arniston Vault to outer left (see below); lower buttressed 2 bay aisle between tower and N transept.


1864. Angle buttresses. 4 light traceried window; louvred vesica set in gablehead; shield bearing lion rampant, for Dundas, to left; shield, for Kidd, to right; stone finial to apex.


1864. Recessed from N transept. N ELEVATION: chamfered angle to outer left; 2 light traceried window; arched louvred opening set in gablehead; stone finial to apex. Roll-moulded doorway set across re entrant angle with N transept. E ELEVATION: 2 quatrefoil windows.


15th century. Recessed from Arniston Aisle. Roll moulded basket arch doorway; boarded timber door; quatrefoil window above; shield bearing lion rampant set in gablehead; concrete slab roof.


15th century. Gabled transept with 2 buttressed bays. Overlapping stone slab roof. Carved grotesques and floral motifs to cavetto cornice. S ELEVATION: 3 light traceried window; raised heraldic device set in gablehead; sundial, dated 1705, set across angle to outer left (gnomon missing). W ELEVATION: roll moulded basket arch doorway in bay to left; boarded timber door; window in bay to right. E ELEVATION: wall monument in bay to left.


12th century, largely rebuilt. 2 roll moulded round arched windows to rounded apse; eaves cornice; conical roof.


Entered through porch in tower and lobby. Open timber wagon roof; pitched pine pews and heritors boxes; decorative barley sugar balusters to steps to pulpit; pierced timber communion table; pointed arched arcade to N transept with painted organ to left arch. N transept: shouldered arched arcaded E wall to Arniston Aisle, door to left. Pierced timber screen and round arch, with scalloped capitals, to apse. Pointed tunnel roof to S transept; 19th century wall-tomb with gothic carved surround to W wall; segmental arched tomb to S wall below window; aumbry and piscina to E wall; door to right.

Statement of Interest

The present church is the third church to stand within the walls of Borthwick Churchyard. The first church was very simple, built some time before 1153. It was known then as "Lochfeureur" and dedicated to St. Kentigern ( also known as St. Mungo). It was granted to the Priory of Scone in the diocese of St. Andrews by David I and remained as such until 1283 when it became an independent rectory. Some time around the 1430's, probably at the same time as Borthwick Castle was being built, the Borthwick family had the South Aisle built. The carved stone flora which ornaments the eaves cornice is thought to have been inspired by that found in the glen, seen also at Rosslyn and Crichton. The grotesques which interrupt the flora represent joy, grief, mockery, surprise, cunning, singing, resignation, merriment and death. The effigies of a knight and his Lady, which are now in the nave of the church, (suggested to be William, 1st Lord Borthwick d. 1470, and his wife) were originally in a wall tomb in this aisle, (although the present wall tomb is later than the aisle itself). In 1449 the church was annexed by Sir William Crichton to the prebend of the new collegiate church at Crichton, only becoming independent again in 1596 (due to a petition by the authority of James VI) when the church also became known as Borthwick Church. In 1775 the old church burnt down, leaving little more than the medieval apse. The second church was built in the north west corner of the churchyard, near where the present gate is situated. It was described in the Statistical Account as "neat, commodious and substantial" (p627). A sketch in the Heritors Minutes shows illustrates that the church was simple in form with a piended roof, and ogee roofed tower. The life of this church was fairly short, as by 1860 the congregation was becoming so large that the building of a new church was proposed. Mr David Kidd, inventor of the Gummed envelope and proprietor of Inveresk Paper Mills, offered ?3,400 towards the building of a church in memory of his parents, which is why the crest of Kidd can be found on the north wall of the church. In order to keep the costs within this sum, the 15th century south aisle was converted into the vestry, and according to Kidd's wishes the remains of the original church (essentially the medieval apse) were incorporated into the new building. The resulting building is consequently unmistakably Victorian, but with a hint of its medieval roots. Since 1981 various parts of the church have been restored.

External Links

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