History in Structure

Parish Church, Kirk Yetholm

A Category B Listed Building in Kelso and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5462 / 55°32'46"N

Longitude: -2.2778 / 2°16'40"W

OS Eastings: 382568

OS Northings: 628085

OS Grid: NT825280

Mapcode National: GBR D4J9.NP

Mapcode Global: WH8Y7.ZVHM

Plus Code: 9C7VGPWC+FV

Entry Name: Parish Church, Kirk Yetholm

Listing Name: Parish Church and Graveyard, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 16 March 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 349005

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB15414

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200349005

Location: Yetholm

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Kelso and District

Parish: Yetholm

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

Tagged with: Church building

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Kirk Yetholm


Robert Brown, 1835-7; interior recast circa 1935. Rectangular-plan Gothick church with tower to S. Coursed whinstone with cream sandstone dressings. Base course; eaves cornice; hoodmoulded lancet windows; chamfered reveals; polygonal buttress towers with obelisk finials clasping angles; pointed-arched and hoodmould doorways.

TOWER: square-section, 3-stage tower. Doorway at ground to SE; modern 2-leaf door and tympanum; narrow round-arched louvre above; pointed-arched traceried louvre with clock at 3rd stage: gabled towerhead with corbelled finial to each face. Pointed-arched traceried window at 2nd stage to SW; 3rd stage detailed as above. Narrow round-arched blinded opening at 2nd stage to NW; pointed-arched louvre at 3rd stage. Pointed-arched louvre to 3rd stage to NE.

SE ELEVATION: 3-bay with windows in each bay; doorway to outer left; modern 2-leaf door and tympanum.

NW ELEVATION: 3-bay with windows in each bay.

NE ELEVATION: 2-bay gabled. 2 traceried pointed-arched windows.

SW ELEVATION: 3-bay gabled with tower in centre bay (see above). Lancet windows in bays to outer left and right; flat-roofed addition in re-entrant angle with tower to outer left.

Clear glass leaded windows. Grey slate roof; coped gables.

INTERIOR: stained glass in 2 chancel windows and window flanking organ by Ballantine and Son of Edinburgh; chamber organ; segmental arch to chancel; gallery supported by gilded fluted columns with foliate capitals; decorative plaster rose; original benches and dado panelling; carved timber lectern with traceried panels; clocks (1993); timber communion table and elders' chairs; bell inscribed "Johannes Burgerhuys me fecit 1643"; datestones of 1610 and 1763 set into internal wall of tower; stone spiral stair to gallery with simple iron balustrade. GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: finialled polygonal whinstone gatepiers; iron spearheaded gates; rubble boundary walls.

GRAVEYARD: gravestones dated from 17th century; Boyd family of Cherrytrees mausoleum; Rev John Baird (d1861) enclosure.

Statement of Interest

The mediaeval church of Yetholm, said to be the last remaining reed- thatched parish church in Scotland, was demolished in 1835 and the present structure built on the site. The only remnants of the mediaeval church appear to be the datestones (referring to alterations), the bell (from the Burgerhuys foundry at Middleburg, Holland), and some fragments of stonework preserved in the Manse garden. The Heritors Records first mention the subject of a replacement for the small and dilapidated church on 12/2/1835, and John and Thomas Smith of Darnick were instructed to draw up plans. By April of 1835, one of the Heritors, the Marquis of Tweeddale, had objected to the plans, and further designs were requested from Walter Elliot of Kelso and Robert Brown of Edinburgh (Lord Tweeddale's own architect at Yester). In May 1835 Robert Brown was selected as architect, and after much wrangling Walter Elliot was appointed as contractor. The estimated cost was $1425. On 28/1/1837 the church was declared "fit for Divine Worship". Photographs of the unbuilt designs exist in the NMRS, and a seating plan for the extant church survives with the Heritors' Records. The interior was remodelled circa 1935, when the side galleries and high pulpit were removed and dark varnish cleaned from the pews.

External Links

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