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Legerwood Parish Church

A Category A Listed Building in Legerwood, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6826 / 55°40'57"N

Longitude: -2.6472 / 2°38'49"W

OS Eastings: 359404

OS Northings: 643425

OS Grid: NT594434

Mapcode National: GBR 92YQ.PS

Mapcode Global: WH8XH.9FPH

Plus Code: 9C7VM9M3+24

Entry Name: Legerwood Parish Church

Listing Name: Legerwood Parish Church and Churchyard Including Boundary Walls and Gravestones

Listing Date: 9 June 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 340264

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB8188

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200340264

Location: Legerwood

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Parish: Legerwood

Traditional County: Berwickshire

Tagged with: Church building

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Early 12th century, repairs dated 1717 and 1804. Additions in 1880 and alterations in 1898 by Hardy and Wright. Romanesque church, roughly T-plan, single storey, 4-bay knave with lower chancel to E and later N aisle perpendicular to the N. Coursed red sandstone blocks. Open belfry with 4 squared columns and pyramidal cap with weathervane over rose window in W gable. Round arched windows with bipartite round arched divisions to central bays. Gabled entrance porch with segmental arched doorway and engaged round columns and bifold timber boarded door. Sited to the rear and accessed through farm buildings, the church sits in large walled graveyard standing prominent over sloping ground to the S, with rubble ha-ha wall to S boundary. 2 carved memorials to E elevation. 1689 gnomon sundial set into quoins in SW corner wall. Coloured margined glazing to N aisle windows.

Corbelled eaves course to chancel, stone skews, graded grey slates, corniced stack to N aisle with octagonal clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: a fine Romanesque interior with Norman chancel arch with half round engaged shafts with engaged nook shafts, abici with chip carvings to sides. 12th century chancel with single engaged columns to rear corners, slit windows, aumbry with remnants of 12th century decoration, cube block stonework and pedimented wall memorial with ionic columns (1691). Later (1898) decorative scheme to nave and north aisle with plain plastered walls, decorative timber roof and glazed rose window to W gable. Geometric tiled floor to chancel, timber pews and timber polygonal pulpit to SE corner of nave. Stained glass windows. 1899 communion table in memory of Agnes Redpath. Cast-iron and brass bracketed light fittings. Cast-iron Art Nouveau fireplace to vestry.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GRAVESTONES: boulder topped rubble boundary walls to N, E and W with retaining wall boundary ha-ha to S overlooking farmland. Broad flag steps built into N wall adjacent to entrance gate. Gateway to former manse to W with remnants of Cast-iron railings. Mainly 18th and 19th C memorials with table tomb dated 1709 to Rev William Calderwood.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such.

Legerwood Church is one of the most complete Romanesque Parish churches in the Scottish Borders, with substantial original 12th century fabric and a particularly fine survival of a decorative Norman arch to the chancel, along with other details such as remnants of 12th century decoration. The church has undergone alterations and improvements over the centuries but the most significant alterations were carried out in 1899 by Hardy and Wright which included remodelling the interior and the addition of the N aisle and rose window to the W gable.

The first church in this location was known to be from 1127 when John of 'Ledgaresude' witnessed a charter. It is likely the majority of the original 12th century fabric survives as there is stylistic evidence in place throughout the church demonstrating its early fabric. The red sandstone cube blocks to the walls date to the 12th century although there have been later alterations to the masonry detailing such as raised quoins and window margins.

The survival of the chancel arch was aided by the fact that the chancel was blocked off and lowered after the Reformation for almost three centuries in order to form the Moristoun burial vault. The form of the chancel is largely original with exposed stonework, narrow arched windows, columns to corners and a fine Baroque pedimented memorial dated 1691 to John Ker of Moristoun and his wife Grissell. The corner pillars to the rear of the chancel suggest that vaulting may have been considered for the chancel at some point.

A major scheme of internal alterations and additions was carried out in 1899 by Henry Hardy (1831-1908) and John R Wight (1829-1919) who were in practice together from 1872-1919. Their body of work was almost exclusively alterations and additions to church buildings through Edinburgh, the Lothians and Borders.

A wall tablet refers to the reopening of the chancel and is inscribed 'Chancel restored by W Van Vlack Lidgerwood'. The 1899 renovation also included the rose window in the E gable entitled 'Light of the World' by Ballantine and Gardiner, the rose window to the W elevation and a new porch to the S entrance elevation. The north aisle which houses a vestry to the north end is thought to date to 1899 though it may have earlier fabric dating to c1800. The general internal decoration scheme including the pews, pulpit, plaster walls and the boarded out timber ceiling is of this phase of works.

Category changed from B to A in 2012 following listing review.

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