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Main Street, Parish Church Graveyard, Hans Hamilton's Tomb

A Category A Listed Building in Dunlop, East Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7117 / 55°42'42"N

Longitude: -4.5405 / 4°32'25"W

OS Eastings: 240486

OS Northings: 649398

OS Grid: NS404493

Mapcode National: GBR 3F.F0WD

Mapcode Global: WH3PQ.7P2P

Entry Name: Main Street, Parish Church Graveyard, Hans Hamilton's Tomb

Listing Date: 14 April 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 336539

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB5191

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunlop

County: East Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Annick

Parish: Dunlop

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Dunlop

Description

1641. Vaulted burial chamber abutting Clandeboye School with crowstepped gable, stone roof, roll-moulded doorway and monuments inside. Squared, coursed sandstone; flagstone roof. Eaves cornice, returning to form string course at gable. Central doorway to gable with roll-moulded architrave and cast-iron gate; roll-moulded window above; square panel above containing black marble slab (badly corroded, see Notes) below skull and cross bones relief and inscription MEMENTO MORI. Stone finial to gable apex.

INTERIOR: barrel-vaulted; arched recess to rear with grooved stonework to arch and inscription: DAN: 12 CH: VER.3. THEY THAT TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL SHINE AS THE STARRES FOR EVER AND EVER. Central cartouche above arch and flame-like carved stonework. Sarcophagus inside arch with kneeling male and female figures on top, facing each other across faldstool (see Notes); very long inscription to tympanum (see Notes). Gravestones inserted in to walls (formerly on floor) of Janet Maxwell (North) and Hans Hamilton and Janet Dedholm (South).

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Clandeboye School and Dunlop Parish Church. This tomb was erected by James, Viscount Candeboye (who also commissioned the adjoining school) in honour of his parents Hans (Johannes) Hamilton and Janet Dedholm. Hans Hamilton was the first protestant minister of Dunlop. Although it has lost much of its former glory, the tomb is a remarkable piece of mid-17th century monumental architecture, of which there are very few surviving examples. The interior of the vault was originally plastered and heavily ornamented with painted decoration and gilding. Fragments of this decoration was still apparent in when the Statistical Account was written in 1792. The tomb has suffered much from a lack of maintenance over the years. This is principally due to a lack of funds, and the fact that no member of Hans Hamilton's family lived close enough to take an interest in the tomb. Dobie quotes a letter from William Mure of Caldwell, showing that even as early as 1699 there was a problem in gathering the necessary money for its repair. There is presently (2004) an on-going project to conserve the tomb: the statues have been mended, and some work has been done on the archway. Unfortunately the roof still leaks, and it has been decided to keep the statues elsewhere until it has been made watertight. It is understood that the statues are presently in the care of one of the partners of Howie and Son (Dunlop). There is a very similar pair of statues at Clonleigh Parish Church, Lifford, Ulster, which are illustrated in 'Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster'. These statues date from 1619, and it is possible that Viscount Clandeboye had these copied, as he worked as a spy for James VI in Ireland.

Over the entrance to the vault, under the skull and cross-bones, is a black marble slab that has been severely corroded through contact with the surrounding sandstone. According to the Statistical Account it was inscribed COME LORD JESUS COME 1641, IcLV. The latter initials are believed to stand for 'James Lord Viscount Clandeboyes'. A very detailed description of the tomb, with illustrative drawings, and full transcriptions of all the inscriptions, which are too lengthy to reproduce here, is given in Dobie. There are also good descriptions in the Statistical Account and in Bayne.

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