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Cranstoun Old Parish Church And Churchyard

A Category B Listed Building in Midlothian East, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8797 / 55°52'47"N

Longitude: -2.9807 / 2°58'50"W

OS Eastings: 338741

OS Northings: 665609

OS Grid: NT387656

Mapcode National: GBR 70MG.G3

Mapcode Global: WH7V7.5GVW

Plus Code: 9C7VV2H9+VP

Entry Name: Cranstoun Old Parish Church And Churchyard

Listing Name: Oxenfoord Policies, Former Cranstoun Churchyard Including Boundary Wall, Gatepiers, Urns, Gates and Monuments

Listing Date: 26 February 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396656

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49104

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cranston

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Parish: Cranston

Traditional County: Midlothian

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18th century, with late 18th century gatepiers and gates re-sited late 19th / early 20th century. Burial ground with contemporary and later tombstones bounded to N and E by later wall. Coursed and random rubble walls with dressed ashlar gatepiers and droved ashlar quoins. Pair of wrought-iron gates. Many tombstones of differing dates and styles.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION, GATEPIERS AND GATES: later high coursed rubble wall running W to E. Pair of tall square ashlar gatepiers to centre with tabbed quoins, plinthed bases, central pilaster details to main elevation and corniced caps supporting large classically decorated urns. Pair of decorative wrought-iron arch-topped pedestrian gates: 5 rows of oviform motifs with scrolled in-fill and arrowhead dividers; scrolled overthrow supporting oviform containing S (for the House of Stair) with a coronet surmounting, a central vertical arrow pierces the overthrow.

E ELEVATION: partial dry stone wall following line of hillock.

MONUMENTS: many shaped and carved tomb and tablestone memorials, including: round top stone with shoulders for John Hunter (died 1790) and his wife Alison Waddell (died 1804); a pair of Celtic crosses, one for Major General W.V. Brownlow; a rusticated stone cross with brass plaques and a plainer cross; smaller early stones now unreadable; a round top stone dedicated to the memory of George Ogilvie, son of George Ogilvie Esq of Prestonhall; a monumental stone cairn dedicated to (amongst others) Susan, Lady Menzies; a modern marble stone to Jean Rankin, daughter of the 12th Earl of Stair and towards the back of the plot some fallen aged stones carved with borders and winged sculls.

Statement of Interest

This is the site of the original Cranstoun Church, which served the now lost village of Cranstoun. In 1791, Cranstoun had a population of 187. It stood on the left bank of the Tyne Water, a short distance north of the "iron bridge" and near the old mansion house of Chesterhall. The exact site is included in an area of Oxenfoord Castle's policies known as the Cow Park. The original church (sited adjacent to the walled kitchen garden of the castle and Lady Marjorie's Garden) was a plain building with no architectural adornments inside or outside. It had galleries to the front and on the right and left of the pulpit. A fire (caused by an overheated stove) destroyed it sometime between 1780 and 1791. The remains were pulled down, but some say part of the vestry was latterly used as an implement shed by the gardener. A new church was erected by the heritors in 1798 and was similar in design to its predecessors. The seats in the galleries were allocated to the heritors and their dependants. The other parishioners used the main body of the church. In 1812, John Hamilton Dalrymple (the 5th Baronet of Cousland and 8th Earl of Stair) applied to and obtained, from the Lords of the Court of Session, permission to change the site of the parish church (listed separately) to where it is today. The manse, sited near Prestonhall, was also moved. The churchyard remained as a family burial ground for the Dalrymples and the House of Stair. It also contains many aged carved tombstones relating to the former parishioners of Cranstoun and a memorial to the head teachers of the school that was housed in the castle. Also buried here are the Macgills who formerly owned the lands of Cranstoun-Riddel. The gatepiers to the burial ground were formerly the entrance gates to Cranstoun House or Castle, which used to be the residence of the Dalrymples of Cousland. They remained for many years beside the "Blue House" which was originally the lodge to Cranstoun Castle. When it was demolished, the gates and piers were re-sited by the 10th Earl of Stair as a formal entrance to the burial ground and overlooking Lady Marjorie's flower and rose garden. There was also a sundial in the burial ground (the later stone shaft is still in situ) and a stone font from the church still survives.

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