Carrington Parish Church

Carrington churchyard, 2

Summary description

The site of the medieval chancel and nave are occupied by an early eighteenth-century mausoleum and a burial enclosure. A new church was built on different site in 1711, which passed out of ecclesiastical use in 1975.

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown/Our Lady

The original gift of the church of Carrington to the canons of Scone was made by King David I, but no charter survives, the grant instead being recorded in a confirmation of the abbey’s possessions made by King Malcolm IV in 1163-4.(1)  Bishop Richard (1163-78) confirmed the grant as having been made in the time of King Alexander I (1107-24) or King Malcolm.(2)  His confirmation granted Carrington and the other named churches in proprios usus to the canons, although Ian Cowan suggested that the revenues were not annexed until 1220.(3) Certainly, in 1225 Pope Honorius III ratified the annexation as having been made by the former legate to Scotland, James, and included the church in his general confirmation of the abbey’s properties and privileges in 1226.(4

As with most of the other parish churches in Scone’s possession, both parsonage and vicarage revenues were annexed to the abbey, which was permitted to serve the cure with a suitable chaplain, removable at the canons’ will.  On 2 May 1243, the church of Carrington was dedicated by Bishop David de Bernham of St Andrews.(5)

In 1356/7 the union with Scone was dissolved principally on the grounds of its remoteness from the monastery and the difficulty of travel to and from it – the abbey received the church of Blairgowrie in place of Carrington – and Carrington became a free parsonage in the patronage of the bishops of St Andrews.(6)  This remained the position at the Reformation, where the parsonage, held by Mr Robert Hamilton, was valued at £66 13s 4d.(7)

There is reference in 1549 to an altar of Our Lady within the parish church.(8)  It is unclear if this was a secondary altar in a side chapel or if it refers to the high altar and principal patron.

Notes

1. The Charters of David I, ed G W S Barrow (Woodbridge, 1999), no.225 (6); Regesta Regum Scottorum, i, The Acts of Malcolm IV, ed G W S Barrow (Edinburgh, 1960), no.243.

2. Liber Ecclesie de Scon (Bannatyne and Maitland Clubs, 1843), no.48 [hereafter Scone Liber].

3. I B Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society, 1967), 29.

4. Scone Liber, nos 102, 103.

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

6. Scone Liber, no.185, bull of Pope Gregory XI dissolving the union.

7. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 121.

8. NRS Protocol Book of Thomas Stevin, 1548-1565, B30/1/5, fol. 7v.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: Confirmed to Scone by Malcolm IV, a probable gift by David I. In 1220 all revenues were annexed and the cure was served by a chaplain. In 1356/7 the revenues were exchanged for those of Blairgowrie; as a result of which the church again became a free parsonage belonging to the bishops of St Andrews.(1)

1163x64 Church included in a confirmation of the possessions of Scone by Malcolm IV, noted as having been gifted by David I.(2)

1164 Church included in confirmation of the possessions of Scone by Pope Alexander III, with lands, teinds and pertinent.(3)

1165x71 William I confirms the church with lands and teinds to the abbey.(4)

1172x78 Richard, bishop of St Andrews, confirms all the churches given to Scone Alexander I, Malcolm IV and William I and confirmed by his predecessors Roger and Aernald. in propros usus with the right to install or remove the chaplain, exempt from all episcopal exactions and customs.(5)

1178x84 Church included in a confirmation by Hugh, bishop of St Andrews, of all the churches possessed by Scone in the diocese of St Andrews in the same terms as Richard his predecessor.(6)

1203x09 Church included in confirmation by William, bishop of St Andrews, of all the churches belonging to Scone in the diocese of St Andrews.(7)

1225 Confirmation of the church in proprious usus to the abbey by Honorius III and prohibits anyone from non-payment of teinds.(8)

1226 Church is included in a papal bull of Honorius III confirming as the possessions of the abbey the church of Scone (three chapels mentioned connected to church of Scone).(9)

1283 Church included in a further confirmation of the possessions of Scone by William Fraser, bishop of St Andrews.(10)

1356x7 Papal bull by Gregory XI confirming the annexation of Blairgowrie to Scone in exchange for the church of Carrington. Scone complains that Carrington is at a great distance from their abbey and that the road is difficult. Church reverts to a free parsonage.(11)

1365 Andrew de Trebrim holds the perpetual vicarage.(12)

1393 William de nary (MA and student of civil law), dispensed to hold church.(13)

1426 On death of John Martin, David de Ramsay collated (student at St Andrews), value £8.(14) Still rector in 1450, described as member of household of James Kennedy, bishop of St Andrews.

1461-73 Patrick Hume is rector of church; in 1468 John Edwards (MA) supplicates for church held without dispensation by Patrick Hume along with archdeaconry of Teviotdale. Unsuccessful as Hume is still rector in 1473.(15)

1454 David Ramsay, vicar of Carrington presented to the provostry of Bothans, vacant by death of Stephen Ker.(16)

1455 Robert of Ramsay, late rector of parish church of Kerington, received £40 from David Hay of Yester upon the great altar of kirk of Cockpen for the lands of Gamiltoun and Yester.(17)   

1548 (Apr) Procuratory by James Ramsay for obtaining provision, institution and possession of the chaplainry of St. Leonard's Chapel near Lasswade, now vacant through the death of Sir John Magot, rector of Keryntoun.(18)

Altars and chaplaincies

Our Lady

1549 Reference to a deal done on the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the church of Carrington; James Hopkirk is the vicar.(19)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church parsonage held by Patrick Hamilton, value £66 13s 4d.(20)

Account of Collectors of Thirds of Benefices (G. Donaldson): Third of parsonage and vicarage £33 4s 5 1/3d.(21)

1592 (3 Feb) Visitation of the church of Carrington by the Presbytery of Dalkeith, minister is found adequate but the parishioners complain that the church had not been repaired and is in bad condition.(22)

1615 (15 Sept) A visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith finds that the kirk dykes and the kirk windows need to be repaired; the presbytery orders a stent to be levied from the parishioners.(23)

1619 (5 Aug) A visitation of Carrington by the Presbytery of Dalkeith reports that the minister regrets the custom of burial within the church, which the brethren (of Dalkeith) require him to resist. If force is required he is to request help from the presbytery.(24)

1631 (18 Aug) A visitation of Carrington by the Presbytery of Dalkeith reports that the minister complains that the roof of the church is ‘faultie’ and would not stand up; a new roof is needed and the Lords Ramsay and Nickhill promised to organise a stent to find the funds.(25)

1642 (18 Aug) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith notes that the heritors and elders agree to buy a kirk bible, and to lay down stones and to build the kirkyard dykes. They also agree to buy a bell.(26)

1675 (15 July) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith, mentions that the church roof is faulty.(27)

1677 (19 Aug) Notice that collectors have been ordained for the money for reparation of the kirk.(28)

1683 (18 July) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith; the minister asked about the fabric of the church and manse answered that they were for the most part ruinous. Further letter mentions that the church was greatly under decay (the manse is more of a concern, £500 is to be spent on it).(29)

1683 (16 Sept) Noted in the kirk session that the baillies have undertaken to make the church wind and water tight and to mend the doors thereof and also the walls of the churchyard.(30)

1694 (Oct) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith notes that the south east quarter of the kirk wants a deal of thatch, whereby the timber will rot and consume with rain and the walls be spoiled by rain giving in amongst them and the north west quarter stands in need of thatch which was blown away by a storm. (they recommend that repairs be carried out before winter).(31)

1709 (12 Apr) Letter to the presbytery from Andrew Broomfield (governor for the Viscount Primrose), noting that ‘we have adjusted all things concerning the building of a new church there, which shall be gone about as soon as the season and weather permits’.(32)

1709 (23 Aug) The presbytery session writes to the Viscount Primrose anent the new church, enclosing an extract anent the ruinous condition of the old church there.(33)

[no further references to the new church in either the presbytery or kirk session records]

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev John Fleming, 1791): ‘The church was built in 1711’.(34)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (anon): [Nothing to add to above, neither account mentions buildings prior to 1711]

Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches: (George Hay): 1710; renovated 1838, Thomas Brown, architect; 1665 bell, mort bell, detached session house.(35)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 29.

2. RRS, i, no. 243.

3. Scone Liber, no. 18.

4. RRS, ii, no. 20.

5. Scone Liber, no. 48.

6. Scone Liber, no. 50.

7. Scone Liber, no. 54.

8. Scone Liber, no. 102.

9. Scone Liber, no. 103.

10. Scone Liber, no. 117.

11. Scone Liber, no. 185.

12. CPP, 506.

13. CPL, Clem, 196.

14. CSSR, ii, 123.

15. CSSR, v, no. 1248, CPL, xi, 426, CPL, xiii, 19.

16. Yester Writs, no. 110.

17. Yester Writs, no. 116.

18. NRS Papers of the Maule Family, Earls of Dalhousie, GD45/13/150.

19. NRS Prot Bk of Thomas Stevin, 1548-1565, B30/1/5, fol. 7v.

20. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 121.

21. Donaldson, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, 27.

22. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1, fol. 265-266.

23. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1, fol. 373.

24. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1, fol. 466.

25. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1630-1639, CH2/424/2, fol. 17.

26. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1639-1652, CH2/424/3, fols. 92-93.

27. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1673-1688, CH2/424/5, fols. 50-51.

28. NRS Carrington Kirk Session, 1653-1683, CH2/62/1, fol. 277.

29. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1673-1688, CH2/424/5, fols. 193-194.

30. NRS Carrington Kirk Session, 1653-1683, CH2/62/1, fol. 324.

31. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1692-1694, CH2/424/6, fols. 173-175.

32. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1705-1711, CH2/424/9, fol. 216.

33. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1705-1711, CH2/424/9, fol. 231.

34. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1791), xiv, 441.

35. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, pp. 39, 58, 69, 174, 188 & 264.

Bibliography

National Records of Scotland, Carrington Kirk Session, 1653-1683, CH2/62/1.

National Records of Scotland, Papers of the Maule Family, Earls of Dalhousie, GD45/13/150.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1630-1639, CH2/424/2.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1639-1652, CH2/424/3.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1673-1688, CH2/424/5.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1692-1694, CH2/424/6.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1705-1711, CH2/424/9, fol.

National Records of Scotland, Prot Bk of Thomas Stevin, 1548-1565, B30/1/5. 

Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal letters, 1893-, ed. W.H. Bliss, London.

Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal Petitions, 1893-, ed. W.H. Bliss, London.

Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon, 1976, ed. C. Burns, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1423-28, 1956, ed. A.I. Dunlop, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1447-71, 1997, ed. J. Kirk, R.J. Tanner and A.I. Dunlop, Edinburgh.

Calendar of writs preserved at Yester House, 1166-1625, 1930, eds. C. Harvey & J. McLeod (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

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

Donaldson, G., 1949, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, (Scottish History 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 ecclesie de Scon, 1843, (Bannatyne Club) Edinburgh.

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

Regesta Regum Scottorum, Acts of Malcolm IV (1153-65), 1960, Edinburgh.

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

Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, ed. J. Sinclair, Edinburgh.

Architectural description

Carrington was evidently granted to the Augustinian abbey of Scone by David I, and was confirmed to that abbey by Malcolm IV in 1163/4, though it was only in 1220 that its revenues were annexed, with the cure eventually being served by a chaplain. However, in 1356/7 the revenues were exchanged with those of Blairgowrie, as a result of which the church again became a free parsonage.(1) Bishop David de Bernham carried out one of his dedications here on 2 May 1243.(2)

Following the Reformation, by 3 February 1592 the building was stated to be in bad condition,(3) and major repairs to the roof were said to be required on 18 August 1631 and 15 July 1675.(4) It may be doubted if much was done in response to those assessments, because on 18 July 1683 the church could still be said to be ain a ruinous condition.(5)

On 12 April 1709 the governor for Viscount Primrose said that a new church was to be built when the weather permitted,(6) and that was achieved in 1710 according to an inscription, and in 1711 according to the Statistical Account.(7)

In the early years of the eighteenth century a mausoleum was built for the Ramsay of Whitehill family on the site of the old church at NT 32175 6114(8). A later inscription on the south wall recorded:

...this building...is erected on the site of the chancel of the old church of ‘Kerintun’ consecrated by David de Bernham, bishop of St Andrews on the 2nd May 1243 and used for public worship until the completion of the present church in 1711. 

The mausoleum is aligned from east-north-east to west-south-west and has dimensions of 7.9 by 5.65 metres, with walls constructed of rubble with broached tooling. It has block-rusticated quoins, and there is similar rustication to the jambs of the basket-arched door in the west wall, which has emphasised voussoirs to the arch. To its west, and on an extension of the same axis, is a rubble-built burial enclosure with dimensions of 5 metres from east to west and 6.32 metres from north to south.

No medieval masonry can be identified in either the mausoleum or the enclosure. However, if the Ramsay Mausoleum is indeed on the site of the medieval chancel, it may be speculated that the enclosure is on the site of the nave, and the combined length of the two structures of 16.85 metres would certainly be acceptable for a small rural church. Against this possibility is the absence of accurate orientation, though this is also the case at a significant number of churches that are of certain medieval origin.

The new church, to the south west of its predecessor, at NT 31853 60592, is built of red sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. The main body is set out to a T-plan, with the aisle to the north; a tower capped by a pyramidal spire at the centre of the south front creates an overall cruciform plan. The Rosebery loft was in the north aisle, looking across to the pulpit on the south side. 

The church was remodelled by Thomas Brown in 1836-8,8 and reordered by Brown and Wardrop in 1858.(9) It passed out of ecclesiastical use in 1975 when the parish was united with that of Cockpen, and it has since been adapted for use as an office.

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, p. 29

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

3. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1, fols 265-66.

4. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1630-39, CH2/424/2, fol. 17, and 1673-88 CH2/424/5, fols 50-51.

5. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1673-88 CH2/424/5, fols 193-94.

6. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1705-11 CH2/424/9, fol. 216.

7. Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, vol. 14, p. 791.

8. Howard Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 4th ed., New Haven and London, 2008, p. 171; National Records of Scotland, HR 460/1.

9. Colin McWilliam, The Buildings of Scotland, Lothian, Harmondsworth, 1978, p. 135.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Carrington churchyard, 2

  • 2. Carrington churchyard

  • 3. Carrington churchyard, Ramsay of Whitehill mausoleum, from south west

  • 4. Carrington churchyard, Ramsay of Whitehill mausoleum, from south east

  • 5. Carrington churchyard, gravestone, 1

  • 6. Carrington churchyard, gravestone, 2

  • 7. Carrington churchyard, Ramsay of Whitehill mausoleum, inscription

  • 8. Carrington later church, exterior, from north east

  • 9. Carrington later church, exterior, from south east

  • 10. Carrington later church, exterior, from south east