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The Cross, Old Parish Church and Burial Ground, Including Vault and Boundary Walls

A Category C Listed Building in Beith, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7509 / 55°45'3"N

Longitude: -4.633 / 4°37'58"W

OS Eastings: 234843

OS Northings: 653979

OS Grid: NS348539

Mapcode National: GBR 39.BPTZ

Mapcode Global: WH2NB.SQZ4

Entry Name: The Cross, Old Parish Church and Burial Ground, Including Vault and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 31 March 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331325

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB882

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Beith

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Kilbirnie and Beith

Parish: Beith

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

Late 16th century fabric with mid 18th century remodelling (date stones of 1593 and 1754 inserted in S gable). Truncated, crowstepped gable end of former parish church, now converted to mausoleum; square-plan vault with blocked bolection-moulded doorpiece and saw-tooth skews; set in burial ground with interesting early 18th century tombstones, bounded by rubble boundary wall.

OLD PARISH CHURCH: central square-headed, roll-moulded doorway to gable with timber boarded door; 2 round-headed windows to 1st floor with plain leaded glazing; clock of circa 1794 above; small crowning square bellcote of circa 1850; bell of 1614, refounded 1734. Tombstones set into and against walls on 3 sides. Rubble sandstone with dressed margins. Grey slates to pitched roof; stone ridge.

INTERIOR: mausoleum to Cochran-Patrick family.

VAULT: simple doorway to W elevation; flanking slit windows. Tombstones against walls. Rubble sandstone with dressed margins; stone slabbed roof.

Statement of Interest

Built on the site of a pre-Reformation chapel, the Auld Kirk, as it is known, was truncated in the early 19th century when the growing congregation demanded a larger place of worship and a new kirk, the High Church (separately listed), was constructed and opened in 1810, possibly using stone from this building. Located at the mediaeval heart of the town, the burial ground provides an important area of green space at The Cross in the centre of Beith. There are a good many early 18th century tombstones in the kirk yard and some highly decorative 19th century examples including those in memory of the Spier family, carved in white marble in high Gothic style. Unfortunately, sections of the boundary wall to the north of the site have collapsed and some of the tombstones are deteriorating (2003).

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