Coldstream / Lennel / Leindel Parish Church

Coldstream (Lennel) church, from north west

Summary description

Of the church on its medieval site at Lennel, the principal remains are of the west gable and lengths of the adjacent north and south walls. Work on a new church in Coldstream started in 1705; the latter was replaced in 1795 and again rebuilt in 1906-7, retaining the tower of 1795.

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown

A half-interest in the church of Coldstream was granted to the Cistercian nunnery of Coldstream at its foundation before 1166 by Cospatric, earl of Dunbar.(1)  This grant was confirmed by Cospatric’s son and successor, Waltheof, who between 1166 and 1182 added the other half of the church, his grant to be activated on the death or resignation of the instituted parson.(2)  The grant was confirmed by Bishop Richard of St Andrews (1165-78) and by successive earls of Dunbar.(3

It appears that the whole fruits of the parish were united with the priory, being recorded in that fashion at the Reformation, and the cure was apparently served by a chaplain.(4)  This position seems to be reflected in the seventeenth-century local understanding of Coldstream/Lennel having been formerly ‘bot ane chappell’ in the possession of the nunnery and that it had become the parish church after the Reformation simply because of its convenient location within the parish.(5)

Notes

1. Chartulary of the Cistercian Priory of Coldstream (Grampian Club, 1879), no.8 [hereafter Coldstream Charters].  For the founding of the nunnery, see I B Cowan and D E Easson, Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland, 2nd edition (London, 1976), 145.

2. Coldstream Charters, no.26.

3. Coldstream Charters, no.7; Apendix, no.1.

4. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 186.

5. Reports on the State of Certain Parishes in Scotland, 1627 (Maitland Club, 1835), 10.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: Half of the church was granted by its founder Gospatrick to the nunnery of Coldstream in 1166. Waldeve his son added the other half 1166x82. The parsonage and vicarage remained with the nuns, with the cure served by a chaplain.(1)

c.1166 Half of the church with half a carucate of land and one carucates of wood included in the foundation charter of the nunnery, granted by Gospatrick and his wife Derder.(2)

166x78 Church confirmed as a possession of the nunnery by Richard, bishop of St Andrews.(3)

1182x1232 Renewal of the grant of the church to the nunnery by Patrick, earl of Dunbar.(4)

1166x82 Confirmation by Walthoef of half the church given to the nunnery.

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church teinds of ‘Lanaile kirk’ in produce relate to the priory of Coldstream.(5)

1627 (Jan) Report on the parish by the minister (Frances Hepburn) describes the church as formerly a chapel of the Priory of Coldstream (called Lennel) which was made the parish church by reason that it was the most commodious in the parish.(6)

[Village of Lennel destroyed during the border wars, parish church transferred to more populous Coldstream]

1695 (5 July) During a visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dun workmen reported that new church dykes were required at a cost of £98 but that no other major repairs to the church were required.(7)

1704 (27 June) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Chirnside notes that the heritors had compeared and after discussion it was put to the vote, seeing that the old kirk is so ruinous and so little that it could not accommodate the parish, as to whether the said kirk should be repaired or a new one built. The heritors vote unanimously for a new kirk with the earl of Hume proposing that it should be in the old town of Coldstream as the most commodious place. The earl of Haddington proposes that it should be in the Newtown of Coldstream. A second vote between the two locations decides on the old town of Coldstream.(8)

1705 (8 Apr) A letter to the presbytery notes that nothing has been done since the last meeting as there are some questions over who is liable for payment. Andrew Paterson, Andrew Forster masons report that the new church is to be 66 foot in length within the walls of the body and 19 foot wide within the walls. It is to be 12 foot in height and include a new steeple. The total cost of the new church is estimated to be £3062. The same workmen estimate that repairing the old church would cost £1947.(9) On 31 July John Haliburton, a heritor of Lennel, reports to the session that work on the new church at Old Coldstream had eventually begun on 10 July.(10)

1718 (29 Apr) Petition by Mr Pow, minister at Lennel, for a visitation, his church and manse being in disrepair. The heritors have met and agreed to build a new church.(11) 1718 (3 June) a visitation notes that a meeting of the heritors had been held 22 April which agreed that the new church built by Charles, late earl of Hume, should thereafter be the parish church. The presbytery confirm the parochial status of the new church.(12)

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev James Bell, 1791): ‘Ruins of Lennel church, distant from Coldstream by about a mile and a half, still remain’.(13)

‘New church was built in 1716’.(14) [in Coldstream]

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev Thomas Smith Goldie, 1834): ‘New church [in Coldstream] in 1795’.(15) [Ruins of the church at Lennel still to be seen].(16)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 130.

2. Chartulary of the Cistercian priory of Coldstream, no. 8.

3. Chartulary of the Cistercian priory of Coldstream, App, i, no. 1.

4. Chartulary of the Cistercian priory of Coldstream, no. 7.

5. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 186.

6. Reports on the State of Certain Parishes in Scotland, pp. 10.

7. NRS Presbytery of Duns, Minutes, 1690-1698, CH2/113/2, fol. 75.

8. NRS Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-1721, CH2/516/2, fols. 33-34.

9. NRS Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-1721, CH2/516/2, fols. 56-59.

10. NRS Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-1721, CH2/516/2, fol. 61.

11. NRS Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-1721, CH2/516/2, fol. 204.

12. NRS Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-1721, CH2/516/2, fols. 265-266.

13. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1791), iv, 410.

14. Ibid, 417.

15. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1834), ii, 199.

16. Ibid, 208.

Bibliography

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Duns, Minutes, 1690-1698, CH2/113/2.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-1721, CH2/516/2.

Chartulary of the Cistercian priory of Coldstream, 1870, ed. C. Rogers (Grampian Club), London.

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

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

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

Reports on the State of Certain Parishes in Scotland, Made to his Majesty’s Commissioners for Plantation of Kirks, 1835, ed. A. MacGrigor (Maitland Club), Edinburgh.

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

Architectural description

The medieval church of the parish that eventually came to be known as Coldstream was at Lennel, which was also known as Leindel. A church was in existence there before 1166, when half of it was granted to the Cistercian nunnery of Coldstream by Earl Gospatric. His successor, Waldeve, granted the other half to the nunnery following the death of the incumbent, after which the cure was served by a chaplain.(1) Bishop David de Bernham carried out one of his many dedications across the diocese of St Andrews here on 31 March 1243.(2)

The remains of the church in the old graveyard at Lennel, located about 1.5 kilometres north east of Coldstream, consist of the greater part of the west gable, which is about 7.95 metres wide, and fragments of the side walls to a length of about 16.75 metres. It appears to have been a two-cell structure, and it has been suggested that it was at least partly vaulted.

The west gable, although swathed in vegetation, is relatively complete, with two levels of secondary rectangular windows that presumably once lit the areas above and below a post-Reformation loft. The north and south walls survive chiefly where monuments have been built against them, and are much rebuilt. There is a modified door towards the west end of the south wall, the jambs of which have been partly cut back. Set within the west gable is a mort-house of 1821, now roofed in corrugated iron.

Somewhat puzzlingly, a report to presbytery of 5 July 1695 stated that no major repairs were then needed,(3) and yet by 27 June 1704 it was said that the church was in a ruinous condition, and that the heritors were proposing to replace it with a new building in Coldstream.(4) On 8 April Andrew Paterson and Andrew Forster, estimated that the cost of a new church with internal dimensions of 66 by 19 feet (20.1 by 5.8 metres)and with walls twelve feet (3.65 metres) high would be £3,062.(5)

Despite the fact that the cost of repairs to the old church at Lennel would have been only £1,947, it was decided to go ahead with building the new church at Coldstream, and it was reported that work had begun on 10 July 1705.(6) The new building was formally adopted as the parish church in 1718. 

However, the new church appears to have been a rather problematic building. As early as 1736 it appears that the roof had to be replaced,(7) and it was completely rebuilt on a larger scale in 1795,(8) with a handsome west tower. The church was again rebuilt in 1906-8, to the designs of J.M. Dick Peddie, incorporating the tower of 1795.

In its final state, the lower part of the tower, which has an entrance in its west face, was recased in ashlar, with emphasised block quoins. The clock stage has recessed Tuscan columns at the angles, and the top stage is octagonal with a low stone spire. The west wall of the new church straddles the retained tower, with shaped semi-gables on each side of it.

The main body of the church is five bays long, and there is a short one-bay sanctuary at the east end. The main front is on the north side towards High Street, with a porch in the second bay from the east. The windows are round-headed, except above the porch, where there is an oculus, and they have lugged architraves with keystones on the more visible north and west sides. The east wall of the sanctuary is lit by a semi-circular lunette window.

Internally there are austerely imposing arcades of Tuscan columns carried on octagonal plinths. The aisles and chancel have groined plaster ceilings and the nave a barrel ceiling articulated by transverse arches that mark the bays.

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, p. 130.

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

3. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Duns, Minutes, 1690-98, CH2/113/2, fol. 75.

4. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-21, CH2/516/2, fols 33-34.

5. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-21, CH2/516/2, fols 56-59.

6. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Chirnside, Minutes, 1702-21, CH2/516/2, fol.61.

7. G.A.C. Binnie, The Churches and Churchyards of Berwickshire, Ladykirk, 1995, p. 127.

8. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 2, p. 211.

Map

Images

Click on any thumbnail to open the image gallery and slideshow.

  • 1. Coldstream (Lennel) church, from north west

  • 2. Coldstream (Lennel) church, west gable, 2

  • 3. Coldstream (Lennel) church, west gable 1

  • 4. Coldstream (Lennel) church, south door

  • 5. Coldstream (Lennel) church, west gable windows

  • 6. Coldstream (Lennel) church, interior, looking west

  • 7. Coldstream (Lennel) churchyard, gravestones

  • 8. Coldstream church, 1

  • 9. Coldstream church, 2

  • 10. Coldstream church, 3