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Chirnside, Kirkgate, Chirnside Parish Church (Church of Scotland) Including Graveyard, Mort-House, War Memorial, Boundary Walls, Gatepiers, Quadrant Walls, Memorial Gateway and Gates

A Category B Listed Building in Chirnside, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7974 / 55°47'50"N

Longitude: -2.2091 / 2°12'32"W

OS Eastings: 386985

OS Northings: 656033

OS Grid: NT869560

Mapcode National: GBR F10D.JM

Mapcode Global: WH9Y8.1J9Z

Entry Name: Chirnside, Kirkgate, Chirnside Parish Church (Church of Scotland) Including Graveyard, Mort-House, War Memorial, Boundary Walls, Gatepiers, Quadrant Walls, Memorial Gateway and Gates

Listing Date: 9 June 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335351

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4122

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Chirnside

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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Chirnside

Description

12th century in part; consecrated 1242; rebuilt 1572; repaired 1705; enlarged 1837; repaired and altered 1876; porch erected 1907; tower, belfry, church hall and vestry added and various alterations by Arthur George Sydney Mitchell & George Wilson, early 20th century. Irregular-plan church comprising originally rectangular-plan nave; engaged, near square-plan, 3-stage tower to W with taller belfry adjoining NE corner; N aisle, single storey church hall and vestry to N with various additions in re-entrant angle to E. Tooled and squared cream sandstone (part coursed, part squared and snecked); sandstone ashlar dressings. Moulded eaves courses; tower with architraved string course dividing floors, modillioned parapet. Tooled quoins; tooled long and short surrounds to openings. Round-arched nave openings with plain columnar reveals; square-headed and pointed-arched openings to later additions. Crowstepped gables in part.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-stage tower to outer left with gabled porch off-set to right comprising round-arched openings with chevron mouldings, circular columns to front with stylised carving to bases and capitals; blind, round-arched niche centred in finialled gablehead; carved figures set in corners. Weathered, round-arched Norman doorway centred within comprising replacement boarded timber door, flanking inner and outer nook shafts with chamfered bases and cushion capitals (different heights), square-headed sandstone lintel, plain tympanum, chevron moulding to inner arch, bead-and-hollow moulding to outer arch. Square-plan sundial (dated 1816) set in SW corner with engaged, circular-plan base; ogee-arched niche. Pointed-arched bipartite window centred at 2nd stage with moulded stops to linked hoodmoulds. Surmounting crowstepped cap-house with small window centred in finialled gablehead. Nave adjoined to right with gabletted buttress breaking eaves off-set to right of centre; 2 pairs of round-arched windows to left; single windows at ground in remaining 2 bays to right; gabled, bipartite window breaking eaves above with small oculus centred in gablehead.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: gabled nave projecting to left with round-arched, boarded timber door centred at ground, flanking nook shafts with scalloped capitals, architraved banding to surmounting arch; oculus centred in finialled gablehead. N wing recessed to right with round-arched window at ground off-set to right; gabled window breaking eaves to left; various lean-to and flat-roofed additions in re-entrant angle to outer left. Lower wing to outer right with exterior stair accessing 2-leaf boarded timber door breaking eaves to left; single window in surmounting crowstepped gable; gabled window breaking eaves at ground in bay to outer right.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: projecting crowstepped wing to left with deep-set, 2-leaf boarded timber door in basket-arched surround to right of centre; naturalistic carving in flush, stylised pediment above. Church hall adjoined to right with regularly disposed, 3-light, square-headed glazing rows in all 3 bays.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3-stage tower to right with 4 regularly disposed, square-headed windows centred beneath string course; pointed-arched bipartite window above with moulded stops to linked hoodmoulds; crowstepped cap-house behind projecting parapet. Gabled porch recessed to outer right. Taller, square-plan tower recessed to left with round-arched, boarded timber door in lean-to porch adjoined to front (flanking nook-shafts and architraved arch); arrowslit openings in all 3 floors recessed above; part-louvred, pointed-arched opening centred at upper floor; decorative frieze mouldings beneath cornice; crocketted corner finials; squat polygonal sandstone spire with St Michael's weather vane above. 2-bay wing recessed to left with round-arched windows in both bays at ground; gabled windows breaking eaves above; commemorative plaque and armorial panels at centre; enclosed burial area to front with sandstone font within. Crowstepped hall projecting to outer left with large, round-arched, traceried window centred in finialled gablehead.

Predominantly small-pane, plain leaded glazing. Grey slate roofs; sandstone ridging; stone-coped and crowstepped skews. Coped apex stack to N; single circular can.

INTERIOR: T-plan nave with boarded timber floor (stone slabbed in part to N); timber pews (some box pews with panelled doors and private communion tables); boarded timber dado panelling; open timber roof; timber panelled doors. Balustraded platform centred in S wall with tall, octagonal pulpit, columnar communion table, sandstone font. Timber panelled fronts to galleries to E (Ninewells), W (Whitehall) and N (square-plan columns below); tiered timber pews. Stone inscribed 'HELPE THE PVR 1573 VE' in S wall, off-set to left of centre. Organ set in E gallery. Various wall tablets including marble bass relief of 2nd Lady Tweedmouth in angle between N and E wings. Vestry with glazed tile fireplace, decorative timber surround. Church hall with full-width entrance screen comprising small-pane leaded glazing in timber panelled, folding doors.

GRAVEYARD AND MORT-HOUSE: surrounding graveyard with various gravestones including table top monuments, carved stones with memento mori, gravestones with classical detailing and obelisks. Curved sandstone seat with coped, squared and snecked, lightly bull-faced back. MORT-HOUSE: single storey, rectangular-plan red rubble structure. S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: modern timber door and side light to left; blocked arrowslit opening to right. Mono-pitched roof. INTERIOR: not seen 1998.

WAR MEMORIAL: tall, rubble-faced cross on tiered, square-plan base. Inscribed 'In Memory of those from this Parish who fell in the Great War 1914-1919.'

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS, QUADRANT WALLS, MEMORIAL GATEWAY AND GATES: arched coping to rubble walls enclosing site; square-plan gatepiers with finialled and tiered, pyramidal caps to E. Squared and snecked, lightly bull-faced quadrant walls flanking entrance to W with tiered, chamfered coping; gabletted, square-plan piers and gatepiers. Buttressed gateway recessed at centre with large Tudor-arched opening, decorative 2-leaf iron gates, inscribed plaque above with carved motif; crenellated parapet.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Much extended and altered, little remains of the original 12th century structure but its weathered Norman doorway (itself rebuilt in part). The wall around the E gable is also thought to contain remnants from the early structure. Originally rectangular in plan, the nave is particularly notable for its galleried aisles, central pulpit and open timber roof. Outside, features to note include the dated sundial, finialled and crowstepped gables and the tall, crocketted belfry. Slated in 1714, the STATISTICAL ACCOUNT records how the church was "...probably, one of the first in the country to be covered." Although dated 1816, the sundial is thought to date originally from the early 18th century (CASTELLATED & DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE). See separate list entry for the former manse - 'Chirnside, Kirkgate, The Old Manse, formerly Glebe House'.

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