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William Cree Memorial Church, Kirkburn Road, Kirkburn

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6334 / 55°38'0"N

Longitude: -3.1266 / 3°7'35"W

OS Eastings: 329172

OS Northings: 638332

OS Grid: NT291383

Mapcode National: GBR 63L9.XF

Mapcode Global: WH6V5.YNBR

Plus Code: 9C7RJVMF+99

Entry Name: William Cree Memorial Church, Kirkburn Road, Kirkburn

Listing Name: Kirkburn, Former William Cree Memorial Church

Listing Date: 23 February 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396872

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49372

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Early 19th century, remodelled in 1921 by JM Dick Peddie; stained glass by Douglas Strachan, 1929. Simple rectangular-plan Arts and Crafts former hall church with forestair to lower entrance porch to NE, scroll bracketed timber bellcote to NE gablehead. Coursed local whinstone rubble with whinstone long and short quoins and dressings; polished sandstone ashlar dressings to later SW window. Swept roof with broad eaves.

NE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: to left, whinstone wall (running parallel to gable end) with ashlar copes flanking outer side of flight of steps leading to advanced porch adjoining right of gable. Pitched roof porch with bell-cast eaves held on projecting quoins: arched door surround with heavily tooled ashlar voussoirs (to resemble thin slate) and impost quoins in left return, contains 2-leaf timber boarded door, semi-circular fish-scale fanlight surmounting; gabled end of porch with tall lancet with slate drip sill and tooled voussoirs to head (similar window to right return, see NW ELEVATION). Blind gable of main church rising to rear with roof ridge advancing to cover timber and slated pitched bellcote canopy supported by heavy scroll timber brackets (bell now missing).

SE ELEVATION: four tripartite windows with sloped slate sills set close under eaves with inset moulded and corniced ashlar panel inscribed W & I C AD 1921 (C for Cree) to centre; steps leading to recessed entrance porch on right return (see NE ELEVATION).

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: gabled end with central Norman-style round-arched window (added 1929) with tabbed ashlar quoins and uniform voussoirs forming outer surround, inner surround with chamfered arrises and drip sill leading to deeply set stained glass window (see below). Small whinstone boundary wall adjoining to left and forming small enclosure.

NW ELEVATION: four tripartite windows with sloped slate sills set close under eaves with single central buttress; to extreme left, tall arched window in lower porch, return of bellcote canopy extending from main ridgeline.

Mostly tripartite timber framed windows with diamond quarry (Tudor glazing) and pronounced astragals; fixed outer windows with opening central window. Semi-circular fanlight above door with fish-scale glazing and tall narrow arched lights (of identical style and materials to those of main building) to returns of porch. Pitched slate roof with bell-cast overhanging eaves held on advanced putts; stone ridging tiles and moulded concrete verges, lead flashing to porch. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. No stacks.

INTERIOR: currently disused (and unfurnished) and being converted to residential accommodation; re-used lintel on interior door inscribed House for Praye (sic) 1614 (see NOTES).

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building no longer in use as such. The parish of Kailzie ceased to exist in 1674 when parts of it were joined with the similarly suppressed parish of Kirkbryde. Together they formed the new Traquair Parish. A church has existed at Kirkburn since the 12th century when it was reliant on Innerleithen. The ruin of Our Lady's (or Hopekailzie, listed separately) is sited to the S of this building and still has many fine monuments and grave markers. The William Cree Memorial Church was named in commemoration of William Cree, the owner of Kailzie from 1914. He had purchased the property from Florance William Black, the son of William Connel Black. Although later used as a church, the building was not primarily designed as one. On the site stood a pair of early 19th century cottages. Originally William Cree paid to have them converted into a hall for the use of residents on the Kailzie estate. This involved raising the wallheads and losing the original fenestration. The hall remained in use until the death of Cree in 1929 when it was decided to turn it into a memorial chapel to him. The arched window was added in the SW gable and a single light by the well-known stained glass artist Douglas Strachan was added. This window is well protected from the wind and rain that rushes down the hill by the deeply recessed nature of the surround. Inside is a much older re-used lintel (see INTERIOR) which had previously been used as a mantelpiece in the Old Toll House. To the NW of this building stands some 1960's timber forestry houses by RH Matthews; these replaced a 19th century school that stood on the site. It was decided to put the disused church on the market at the end of the 20th century as the local churches (Walkerburn, Innerleithen and Traquair) already took turns in hosting services and it was surplus to requirements. It is believed the church will now become residential accommodation and hoped the stained glass window can be incorporated into another church in the area. Listed as a good example of a simple rural Arts and Crafts building with fine original features including the entrance porch, corbelled bellcote, bell-cast roof and interesting fenestration and glazing.

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