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Whitsome, Old Churchyard, Including Watch House

A Category C Listed Building in Whitsome, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7464 / 55°44'46"N

Longitude: -2.1892 / 2°11'21"W

OS Eastings: 388222

OS Northings: 650350

OS Grid: NT882503

Mapcode National: GBR F14Z.VX

Mapcode Global: WH9YG.BTSM

Entry Name: Whitsome, Old Churchyard, Including Watch House

Listing Date: 28 October 1997

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354216

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19801

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Whitsome

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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Description

Near rectangular-plan churchyard originally associated with Whitsome Old Parish Church. Rectangular-plan, single storey former watch house, dated 1820, set within: harl-pointed red rubble sandstone; rubble quoins; long and short rubble surrounds to openings.

CHURCHYARD: gravestones arranged in formal rows (some with figurative panels) including variety of types; 18th century stones with momento mori, table top monuments, 19th century classical headstones and obelisk. Large pedimented stone dedicated to David Hogarth Esq. of Hilton with pilastered bays, corniced eaves. Rubble-coped, random rubble walls enclosing site; wrought-iron gatepiers to N; wrought-iron gate.

WATCH HOUSE, S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: boarded timber door off-set to right of centre; lintel inscribed 1820 (inscription fading). W (SIDE) ELEVATION: low stone bench fronting wall. Grey slate roof; raised stone skews; remains of coped apex stack to W. INTERIOR: red rubble sandstone; open timber roof. Rubble fireplace centred in W wall.

Statement of Interest

Records of a church in Whitsome Parish can be traced back to 1296, when parson Rauf de Hawden swore fealty to Edward I at Berwick. The early church stood within this churchyard, at its highest point. Subsequently replaced by the existing structure (see separate list entry Whitsome Kirk), the original church is recorded as having been "... a miserable thatched building" which was "...ill-seated, narrow and incommodious" (Old Statistical Account). Despite the loss of its church, the remaining churchyard retains significant interest. With its dated lintel, stone bench and fireplace, the watch house is particularly noteworthy as it recalls a period of body snatching and sacrilege. For a time used as a store and base from which the local authority maintained the churchyard, the small structure is now empty. Since the creation of a new churchyard nearer the Kirk, this earlier churchyard has become redundant.

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