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Eccles Church (Church of Scotland) Including Graveyard, Mounting Stone, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Eccles, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6646 / 55°39'52"N

Longitude: -2.377 / 2°22'37"W

OS Eastings: 376378

OS Northings: 641299

OS Grid: NT763412

Mapcode National: GBR C2VY.56

Mapcode Global: WH8XM.GW99

Entry Name: Eccles Church (Church of Scotland) Including Graveyard, Mounting Stone, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 9 June 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335282

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4076

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Eccles

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Parish: Eccles

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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Description

1774; I Noble, architect vestry addition, 1862; interior alterations 1930. Rectangular-plan, 5- by 3-bay plain classical church with 3-stage square-plan tower and surmounting belfry centred in E end; single storey, single bay gabled addition (former vestry) to right. Harl-pointed tooled sandstone rubble; sandstone ashlar dressings (droved in part). Raised base course; architraved string courses to tower; corbelled cornice to belfry. Raised quoin strips; droved rubble long and short surrounds to openings; raised margins; flush cills. Round-arched and square-headed windows.

NE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: engaged tower advanced at centre with steps to recessed 2-leaf boarded timber door centred at ground; round-arched window at 1st floor; blind at remaining 2 stages. Surmounting belfry with round-arched window; 1659 bell within (recast 1897); sandstone finial above concave roof. Square-headed window at ground in bay recessed to outer left; round-arched window aligned above. Single window centred in gabled addition slightly advanced to outer right; round-arched window set behind at 1st floor.

SE (SIDE) ELEVATION: 5-bay. 3 regularly-spaced, large round-arched nave windows at centre; square-headed windows at ground in bays to outer left and right (infilled doors?); circular windows aligned above.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: recessed 2-leaf boarded timber door centred at ground; round-arched window aligned above; small oculus centred in gablehead; cross finial. Square-headed windows at ground in flanking bays; round-arched windows above.

NW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3 regularly-spaced, large round-arched nave windows at centre. Square-headed window at ground in bay to outer right. Boarded timber door in bay to outer left.

Predominantly small-pane glazing in timber sash and case and fixed windows. Opaque-glazed, round-arched nave lights with stained boarders and Y-traceried uppers; stained glass nave window to SE; flanking circular lights with stained floral motifs. Grey slate roof; stone coped skews; scrolled skewputts. Replacement rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: porch with sandstone tablet in S wall inscribed 'AD 1774'; former vestry to N. Nave comprising timber panelled dado; boarded timber floor; combed ceiling. Timber pews; carved pulpit; timber communion table and chairs centred in columnar recess. Organ set in NW corner. Columnar supports beneath timber panelled gallery to E; tiered pews; bell rope to front of central window. Timber panelled doors flanking pulpit accessing church hall and vestry area behind comprising vestry and kitchen offices at ground; church hall at 1st floor. 1712 mort bell.

GRAVEYARD: irregular-plan graveyard adjoining remains of St Mary's Convent. Various 17th, 18th and 19th century gravestones including table top monuments, memento mori, wall monuments; gravestones with classical detailing and individual family burial enclosures.

MOUNTING STONE: 5-step mounting stone set outside boundary wall, to N of church.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: rubble walls enclosing site (part mutual with Eccles House and remains of St Mary's Convent). Coursed cream sandstone gatepiers flanking entrance to E; square caps; iron over-arch; modern timber gates.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Built to replace an older church which, by 1774, was deemed too small for its congregation. Following the demolition of all but the now ruinous N transept (which is said to have been retained as a burial aisle), a new church was built to the W. Prior to its renovation in 1930, the pulpit was centred in the N wall and a gallery extended around the 3 remaining sides. Then fitted with box pews, this new church was able to seat 1000. In 1896, Robson noted that "...the exterior has much more of architectural design than most country churches built in the latter half of last century; but the interior is bald and uninteresting, and destitute of any single element of beauty or comfort." The 1930 internal renovations resulted in the removal of most of the gallery, the repositioning of the pulpit to the W end, the removal of the box pews and the subsequent reseating of the whole church. It is said that the backs of the old bow pews were used to create the dado panelling which now extends around the nave. A church hall and vestry area were formed behind the pulpit, incorporating what had been the W gallery. Hay notes that the "...elegant little tower with concave top" was copied from the tower of Buccleuch Chapel of Ease, Edinburgh. See separate list entry for St Mary's Convent - the ruins of which adjoin this graveyard.

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