History in Structure

Traquair Parish Church

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 55.59 / 55°35'24"N

Longitude: -3.0803 / 3°4'49"W

OS Eastings: 332009

OS Northings: 633461

OS Grid: NT320334

Mapcode National: GBR 63XS.XY

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.NRDH

Plus Code: 9C7RHWR9+2V

Entry Name: Traquair Parish Church

Listing Name: Traquair Parish Church Including Churchyard

Listing Date: 23 February 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 349011

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB15419

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200349011

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

Tagged with: Church building

Find accommodation in


1778 by John Haldane and Co to plan by John Winter; interior recast 1821; refurbished by WH Playfair, 1840; remodelled internally 1897 and 1914 when vestry was added; Traquair burial aisle of unknown date. Rectangular-plan church with projecting entrance to E and forestair to former gallery; lower burial aisle adjoining to N (forming T-plan) with vestry in re-entrant angle to W; bellcote with weathervane. Harled with sandstone margins. Churchyard with later wall to W containing many tombs and stones of varying date.

S (ROAD) ELEVATION: tall paired windows to centre with chamfered arrises and projecting imposts and keystones (left dated 1778); to right, bipartite window with stone mullion (probably lit internal stair in 19th century); to left, similar arch-topped window (circa 1914 and without keystone) with inset to left (blind harled door below) and right.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central projecting entrance porch with stone surround and timber door with adjoined dogleg forestair to right (with plain wrought-iron handrail and balusters) leading to aligned entrance at gallery level: 2-leaf timber boarded door with rectangular fanlight with margin lights and stone surround, small square windows with stone margins flanking.

N ELEVATION: T-plan elevation with single storey, gable ended Traquair (or Stuart) burial aisle projecting to centre with small (barred) arched window to gablehead; aedicular monument to Lady Louisa Stuart (1875, in remembrance of her death aged 100) below with frieze inscribed WITHIN THIS AISLE LIE THE MORTAL REMAINS, OF THE NOBLE AND ANCIENT HOUSE OF STUART, EARLS OF TRAQUAIR, REQUIESCANT IN PACE, stone cross at gablehead; entrance door with stone margins to the left return with inset memorial tableau to left; piended single storey vestry in right re-entrant angle with door and window facing W. Small window (late 18th century) in left of main body of church (similar one to right now blind and partially concealed by vestry).

W ELEVATION: gable end with pair of circa 1899 tall arch-topped windows with right hung arched boarded timber exterior shutters and projecting sills; platformed gablehead supporting simple square open bellcote of ashlar construction with ogee roof and surmounted by weathervane.

Arch-topped, multi-paned glazing to main windows with paired 4 lying pane casement windows to gallery (and E of S elevation); 6-pane glazing in timber window to vestry (2-pane upper sash, 4-pane lower sash). Pitched slate roof with projecting verges and plain timber barge boarding, lead roll ridging and lead flashing and valleys; squared timber louvred ventilator with cross surmounting to gallery roofline. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Small harled wallhead stack to NE of gallery with plain can.

INTERIOR: fairly plain with high coved ceiling and former gallery to E end supported on cast-iron pillars (in-filled in 1986 to provide a meeting room accessed from outside stair). Tongue and groove dado panelling and in sloped sills of windows; timber pews flanking central aisle; 1914 carved timber pulpit, altar and font (later organ). Many memorial tablets dedicated to the Tennant family (of Glen House) including on W wall: alto-rilievo angel figure by John Steell (1877-8) commemorating Janet Tennant (1850-66) to left; marble plaque to centre dedicated to Emma, Lady Tennant (died 1895) and placed by Sir Charles Tennant "in the church where she worshipped; the interior of which he restored SEPTEMBER 1897"; an elaborate memorial (executed in white, black and yellow marble) commemorating Edward Wyndam Tennant (by Allen G Wyon, 1920). S wall contains a marble classical table for Francis Scott (tenant of Howford who died in 1869) and a bronze plaque for Douglas Constable Oliphant (a Grenadier guard killed in 1916) by G. Maile & Son, London. Fairly plain vestry.

CURCHYARD: varied collection of 17th-19th century graves including 1693 table tomb with Latin hexameter verse for Margret Borovman (sic.) and James Bal/ichtone of Priesthom(e) died 1700; a 1691 arch-topped headstone for David Bell (tailor) with emblems of mortality, scissors and a flat iron carved on it; 1736 gravestone with a spade and rake crossed under a heart for Andrew Hay, gardener at Traquair House. Many small shoulder-topped headstones and some obelisks also survive. Large Tennant family burial plot to N of NE wall containing small crosses and arched classical grave stone to Edward Priaulx Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner. Boundary wall of whinstone and later ashlar sections.

Statement of Interest

Part of a B-Group with Kirkbride House (formerly Traquair Manse). Ecclesiastical building in use as such. This church was built to replace an earlier one on the site. Originally, the church was dedicated to St Bryde and the parish was called Kirkbryde. It was adjoined with parts of Kailzie parish (which was suppressed in 1674) and made into Traquair parish. The new church was built around a century after the old parish ceased to exist. It is 59ft. 5in. in length by 27ft. 9in. long. It is believed that originally there was a door in the E and W gables and the forestair is a later addition. The central paired windows in the S wall are original and interiorally the pulpit would have stood between them. The small windows on the N side are believed to be original. Also to the N is the Traquair burial aisle (vault) ? it projects 25ft. 2in. from the church and is 20ft. 4ins. broad. The parish church is regarded as multi-faith, due to the Stuarts of Traquair burial aisle (the Stuarts being Catholics). The aisle fell into disrepair but was refurbished, re-harled and a new roof added in 2000, replacing the stone slab roof removed circa 1990. The door in the E wall was also re-opened after years of being hidden beneath later harling. The 1897 refurbishment of the main church was funded by Sir Charles Tennant of Glen House and the interior holds many memorials to the family including those of his wife and his grandson Edward (aged 19), who was killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 whilst serving with the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. To the rear of the church a large burial ground for the family still stands. The graveyard also contains some early tombs and tradesmen's stones of parishioners. Listed as a good example of a simple country church with interesting additions; also listed due to the importance of the Stuart and Tennant families connections.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.