Carriden Parish Church

Carriden graveyard, gravestone, possible east wall of church

Summary description

The site of the medieval church is marked by a fragmentary line of masonry and a depression in the churchyard. It was replaced by a new building on a different site in 1766, which was itself replaced by a new building on an adjacent site in 1908-9.

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown

The church of Carriden was granted in the 1150s along with two carucates of land and all rights in teinds etc, to the canons of Holyrood Abbey at Edinburgh by Bishop Robert of St Andrews.(1)  Possession of the church was confirmed to the canons by bull of Pope Alexander III in 1164 and around the same time Bishop Richard and King William issued general confirmations of its possessions to the abbey.(2

It was noted in the Pontifical Offices of St Andrews that the church was ‘founded’ on 7 May 1243.(3)  Eight years later in 1251, Bishop David de Bernham confirmed a vicarage settlement, whereby the parsonage remained with the abbey and the cure was established as a perpetual vicarage, valued at 10 merks.(4) The church was accounted as a vicarage in the papal tax rolls of the mid-1270s.(5)  The arrangement remained in force at the Reformation.  The last pre-Reformation vicar perpetual, Alexander Hamilton, was presented in 1546,(6)  Hamilton remained in possession through the Reformation, his benefice being valued in the Books of Assumption at 12 merks 4s 6d, while the parsonage amounted to £106 13s 4d.(7)

Notes

1.1. Liber Cartarum Sancte Crucis (Bannatyne Club, 1840), no.9 [hereafter Holyrood Liber].

2.2. Scotia Pontificia:Papal Letters to Scotland before the Pontificate of Innocent III, ed R Somerville (Oxford, 1982), 53; Holyrood Liber, no.13; Regesta Regum Scottorum, ii, The Acts of William I, ed G W S Barrow (Edinburgh, 1971), no.39.

3.3. A O Anderson (ed), Early Sources of Scottish History, ii (London, 1922), 523 [Pontifical Offices of St Andrews].

4.4. Holyrood Liber, no.75.

5.5. A I Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll: Statement of the Tenths of the Kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi (1939), 33.

6.6. Holyrood Liber, cartae ex variis apographis, no 29.

7.7. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 91, 157.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: Granted to Holyrood by Robert, bishop of St Andrews  in 1147x53. Vicarage settlement in 1251, parsonage remained with the abbey.(1)

1152x59 Church with two ploughgate of land, teinds, mills and easements given to the abbey by Robert, bishop of St Andrews.(2)

1164 Church confirmed in possession of the abbey by pope Alexander III.(3)

1165x66 Church included in confirmation by Richard, bishop of St Andrews of all the churches given to the abbey by David I, Malcolm IV and bishops Aernald and Robert of St Andrews.(4)

1165x71 Church confirmed to the abbey by William I as a gift by Malcolm IV.(5)

1248 Church included in confirmation of possessions of the abbey by David de Bernham, bishop of St Andrews.(6)

1251 Vicarage settlement by David de Bernham, bishop of St Andrews, parsonage with abbey; perpetual vicarage valued at 10 marks.(7)

1268 Church included in confirmation of the possessions of the abbey in the diocese of St Andrews by Gameline, bishop of St Andrews.(8)

1456 Church included in confirmation of the possessions of abbey by Pope Calixtus III.(9)

1500 William Vardelano is perpetual vicar (son of an Augustinian canon).(10)

1538 John Greenok is chaplain and curate of the church.(11)

1541 Archibald Wetherspoon is vicar of Carriden.(12)

1546 Alexander Hamilton presented to the perpetual vicarage on the resignation of Alexander Wetherspoon.(13)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church parsonage with Holyrood, set for £106 13s 4d. Vicarage held by Alexander Hamilton, value only 44s 6d.(14)

1560-69 Alexander Hamilton holds the vicarage but feus it to Nicol Cornwale in 1569, keeping manse and yard valued at £6. Alexander has a natural daughter, Elizabeth.(15)

1613 (7 July) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Linlithgow conferred with the parishioners for the reparation of their church. The parishioners are willing to help but many of the heritors were absent (John Hamilton of Grange the lead heritor).(16)

1616 (4 Sept) Brief reference to a visitation of the churches of Kinneil and Carriden by the Presbytery of Linlithgow finds the churches to be poorly provided (£6 stipends); the bishop of St Andrews is the patron of both.(17)

1624 (14 July) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Linlithgow finds good harmony between the minister and flock; the manse and gleib need augmenting.(18)

1628 (24 July) Reference to the east end of the church being built for the gentlemen (as the place they can place their seats). All the heritors are Hamiltons.(19)

1731 (1 Sept) It was noted in the presbytery that the laird of Grange had shut up an aisle in the church, which was an ordinary place for hearing the sermon, it being opposite the pulpit, ‘pretending that it was a burial place for the family’. The elders argue that this is an encroachment upon the rights of the congregation. The presbytery agree that the aisle is part of the church (advises the session to consult lawyers).(20)

1740 (2 Apr) Visitation of the church by the presbytery found that the church and manse were in disrepair. Robert Smith, wright, William Meikle, mason and slater note that £47 worth of slate work, £65 of mason work, £47 of glass work and £25 for two newly put up windows are required for repairing the church. The heritors are ordered to pay that amount, anything further is to be paid by the kirk session.(21)

1765 (21 Feb) It was represented to the presbytery that the church and church yard dykes (of Carriden) are ruinous and need reparation (meeting to be organised). The subsequent visitation on 16 April reports that repairs will amount to £174 8s 8d. The visit also noted that there was a design to remove the church and church yard and the place shown onto them, where the new church was to be built near the village of Bonhardpans (commonly felt to be more convenient).(22)

[No further references in the kirk session or presbytery records to the newly built church in 1766]

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev George Ellis): [No reference to church fabric]

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev David Fleming, 1836): ‘The church stands upon the coast…. It was built in 1766, the old church having stood about half a mile distant in close proximity to the mansion house of Carriden, where the old church yard still remains’.(23)

Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches: (George Hay): 1766 with 19th century additions, now roofless, 1674 Peter Ostens bell.(24)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 28.

2. Holyrood Liber, no. 9.

3. Scotia Pontifica, 53.

4. Holyrood Liber, no. 13.

5. RRS, ii, no. 39.

6. Holyrood Liber, no. 76.

7. Holyrood Liber, no. 75.

8. Holyrood Liber, no. 77.

9. Holyrood Liber, App i, no 1.

10. CPL, xvii, no .248.

11. Prot Bk of Thomas Johnsoun, 1528-1578, no. 157.

12. Prot Bk of Thomas Johnsoun, 1528-1578, no. 312.

13. Holyrood Liber, App ii, no. 29.

14. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 91 & 157.

15. Prot Bk James Foulis, 1546-1555 and Nicol Thounis, 1559-1564, ii, nos. 10 & 33, Prot Bk of Thomas Johnson, nos. 543, 759 & 994.

16. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1610-1617, CH2/242/1, fol. 66v.

17. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1610-1617, CH2/242/1, fol. 154v.

18. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1618-1632, CH2/242/2, fol. 110.

19. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1618-1632, CH2/242/2, fols. 207-208..

20. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1731-1742, CH2/242/13, fol. 13.

21. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1731-1742, CH2/242/13, fols. 311-312.

22. NRS Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1742-1773, CH2/242/14, fols. 455-456.

23. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1836), ii, 73.

24. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, p. 276.

Bibliography

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1610-1617, CH2/242/1.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1618-1632, CH2/242/2.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1731-1742, CH2/242/13.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1742-1773, CH2/242/14.

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

Hay, G., 1957, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, 1560-1843, Oxford.

Kirk, J., 1995, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, (British Academy) Oxford.

Liber Cartarum Sancte Crucis, 1840, ed. C. Innes, (Bannatyne Club), Edinburgh.

New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, Edinburgh and London.

Protocol Book of Dominus Thomas Johnsoun, 1528-1578,  1920, eds. J. Beveridge and J. Russell (Scottish Record Society) Edinburgh.

Protocol Book of James Foulis, 1546-1555 and Nicol Thounis, 1559-1564, 1927, eds. J. Beveridge and J. Russell (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

Regesta Regum Scottorum, Acts of William I (1165-1214), 1971, Edinburgh.

Scotia pontificia papal letters to Scotland before the Pontificate of Innocent III, 1982, ed. R. Somerville, Oxford.

Architectural description

The church of Carriden was granted by Bishop Robert to the Augustinian abbey of Holyrood at a date between 1147 and 1153, and there was a vicarage settlement in 1251.(1) Bishop David de Bernham carried out one of his dedications here on 7 May 1243.(2)

The church stood to the south of Carriden House,(3) at NT 02475 80793, where there is still a graveyard. It is possible that the east wall of the church is represented by a line of masonry that appears to have been extensively reconstructed, while a slight rectangular hollow partly framed by masonry may mark the south-west corner.

On 24 July 1628 it was said that the eastern part of the church had been rebuilt to contain seats for the gentlemen of the parish.(4) There was evidently a lateral aisle on the opposite side of the church from the pulpit, and on 2 April 1742 it was complained that the laird of Grange had improperly closed this off as a burial place, which was deemed to be an encroachment on the rights of the congregation.(5

By 2 April 1742 the building was recorded as being in disrepair and masonwork costed at £65 was said to be required, together with glasswork costing £47 and work on two newly erected windows costing £25.(6) By 21 February 1765 the necessary works were expected to cost £174.8s.8d., though it was said that there were plans to abandon the site and build a new church at the village of Bonhardpans.(7)

The new church was built in 1766, about half a mile from the old building,(8) at NT 018874 81226. It was set out to a T-plan, with two levels of two-light windows corresponding to the areas above and below the galleries, those to the lower level being rectangular, and those to the upper level having pointed heads. However, the pair of windows at the centre of the south front, where they flanked the pulpit, had the two levels united, with a transom at mid-height, and with a further pointed opening between the light heads. An eastern tower, with a stone spire decorated with lucarnes, was added to the church in about 1850.(9)

That second church was in turn abandoned when a new one was erected on an adjacent site in 1908-9, to the designs of Peter Macgregor Chalmers. The latest church is in a robust Italianate-Romanesque idiom, with an eastern apse, aisles to the nave and a tall western tower capped by a pyramidal spire; a double-storey session house is given the appearance of a south transept, and there is a baptistery off the north aisle. The walls are of rock-faced masonry with polished ashlar dressings.

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, p. 28.

2. Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, Edinburgh, 1922, vol. 2, p. 523.

3. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 2, p. 73.

4. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1618-32, CH2/242/2, fols 207-208.

5. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1731-42, CH2/242/13, fol. 13.

6. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1731-42, CH2/242/13, fols 311-12.

7. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Linlithgow, Minutes, 1742-73, CH2/242/14, fols 455-6.

8. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 2, p. 73.

9. Colin McWilliam, The Buildings of Scotland, Lothian, Harmondsworth, 1978, pp. 133-4.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Carriden graveyard, gravestone, possible east wall of church

  • 2. Carriden graveyard, gravestone, possible south-west corner of church

  • 3. Carriden graveyard, possible site of church from west

  • 4. Carriden graveyard

  • 5. Carriden graveyard, gravestone, 1

  • 6. Carriden graveyard, gravestone, 2

  • 7. Carriden graveyard, gravestone, 3

  • 8. Carriden, second church, 1

  • 9. Carriden, second church, 2

  • 10. Carriden, second church, 3

  • 11. Carriden, second church, 4

  • 12. Carriden, third church, 1

  • 13. Carriden, third church, 2