Lasswade Parish Church

Lasswade Church, from west

Summary description

The location of the church is indicated by a number of post-Reformation burial enclosures, one of which may have incorporated masonry of the chancel. The unaisled nave is recorded as having had a west tower, which collapsed in 1866. A new church had been built in a more convenient location in 1793, which has itself been demolished.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Edwin

Although Lasswade is apparently a church of great antiquity and significance as the mother church of an extensive parish with several dependent chapels, there is no surviving record of it in documentary sources before 1240.  It was dedicated to St Edwin(1) on 6 May that year by Bishop David de Bernham.(2)  When it appears in 1274/5 in the accounts of the papal tax-collector in Scotland, Lasswade was already a vicarage and assessed for payment at two merks, but it is not until the tax roll of 1298 that we learn that the parsonage had been appropriated to the episcopal mensa of St Andrews.(3)  When the annexation had occurred is unknown but it was evidently before 1274 when the vicarage was clearly in existence.

It is only in the 1420s that incumbents of the vicarage are recorded in the surviving record.  In 1420 Patrick Stephens, the former rector of Penicuik, supplicated successfully for re-admittance to Lasswade following his earlier deprivation for committing simony when exchanging churches. The value of the vicarage was given as 40 merks.(4)  This success was followed in 1424 by an unsuccessful attempt by Robert de Crannach, secretary of John Stewart, earl of Buchan, to replace Patrick on charge of simony. In 1430 there was a further attempt to remove Patrick by a certain Patrick Parkle, who accused Stephens this time of committing ‘homicide, simony, perjury incest and fornication with nuns’.(5)  The outcome is not recorded.

That union to the episcopal mensa lasted until 1451 when Bishop James Kennedy revoked the annexation.(6)  The purpose behind this was renunciation of significant financial resources was to provide an endowment for the new College of St Salvator which Kennedy was founding in the University of St Andrews.  The annexation to the college was to become operative on the death of the incumbent vicar, the rector then become a canon of St Salvator’s.  The status of the church and possession of the rectory and perpetual vicarage become tortuously convoluted from this point.

Despite Kennedy’s intention for the parsonage, in 1453 it emerges that a certain Walter Stewart had been collated to the parsonage.(7)  Three years later in 1456, the vicarage perpetual appears in the hands of one James Livingston MA, indicating that Kennedy’s plan had run into further difficulties.(8)  Nevertheless, in 1465 an annexation to the capitular mensa of St Salvator’s was effected, with the titular rector – George Abernethy - becoming a canon of the college.(9)  This annexation, however, proved ineffective and in early 1469 Pope Paul II issued a mandate for a panel to investigate the circumstances and annexation.(10)  In his mandate of 25 February 1469, the pope referred to a supplication concerning the collegiate church of St Salvator which had included the statement that during the vacancy of the see of St Andrews before Bishop Patrick Graham’s provision, the vicar general of the chapter had united and incorporated the church of Lasswade to the college with the consent of the chapter, the parson also consenting and thereupon becoming a canon in the choir, but the union had not yet taken effect.  The supplication therefore, requested that for the maintenance and support of the college the pope would confirm the union and incorporate and unite Lasswade (valued at 40 marks sterling) to the capitular mensa of St Salvator’s (valued at 50 marks sterling).  If the mandatories found the case to be as expressed in the supplication, the union was again to become effective on the resignation or death of the current parson, the church thereafter being ruled by one of the canons or chaplains of St Salvator’s.  The day following Paul II’s mandate a fresh supplication rehearsing the same terms as set out in the original supplication to which he was responding was registered.(11)

Against this backdrop, three men had become perpetual vicar in quick succession, commencing with Livingstone in 1456 and, followed by James Inglis in 1464 and George Abernethy in 1466.(12)  In 1470, however, Abernethy was described as parson of Lasswade when he supplicated for papal permission to resign his benefice.(13)  He had just survived a supplication dated 20 June 1469 for his deprivation brought by one David Williamson, who sought provision in his place.  This claimed that when Lasswade had become vacant by the resignation of Walter Lindsay – who is not otherwise known - into the hands of the late Bishop Kennedy, for the sake of an exchange to be made with Abernethy, who was then parson of Forteviot, Kennedy had collated Lasswade to George, who then occupied the church for upwards of five years without having himself promoted to holy orders.  Williamson went on to claim that after Kennedy’s death, during the vacancy of the see, Abernethy had persuaded David, prior of St Andrews, vicar general, to erect Lasswade into a prebend of St Salvator’s, and at the request of the provost of the college, the pope had recently given mandate to judges-delegate that on George’s resignation or death they should unite and annex the church to the college as proposed.  Williamson, however, claimed that Lasswade was actually vacant, since George had failed to be promoted to priest’s orders within a year, negating the requirement for its annexation to St Salvator’s that it should be vacant by the resignation or death of George.  Williamson then presented himself as the most suitable candidate for provision.(14)  He failed and Abernethy remained in possession.

Although George Abernethy continued to hold the church, in 1473 there was an effort by Archbishop Scheves to appropriate Lasswade and other churches to his archiepiscopal mensa. That union was also referred to as dissolved by 1476 when Robert Blackadder was collated to the parsonage on the death of Abernethy.(15)  A further annexation was instituted in 1477/8, when the church was successfully erected into a prebend of St Salvator’s College, with the provision that on the death or cession of Blackadder, no-one was to hold the parsonage and canonry in the college who was not a doctor or licentiate of canon law.(16)  Following Blackadder’s resignation in 1480, the archbishop secured the annexation of the recently-instituted prebend and its revenues to his archiepiscopal mensa and proceeded to uplift the fruits for some years after, despite the efforts of John Fresale, licentiate in canon law, who claimed provision.(17)  The archbishop steadfastly refused to institute John in the face of complaints about the irregularity of the annexation, claiming doggedly that the revenues of the church pertained to his mensa.

Eventually yielding to pressure, in 1487 the archbishop surrendered all of his rights in the church and the prebend in St Salvator’s was formally extinguished.  Thereupon, at the request of King James III, both parsonage and vicarage of the church of Lasswade and the associated vicarage of Dalkeith – which had been erected in the formerly dependent chapel of St Nicholas at Dalkeith – were annexed to the deanery of the king’s new collegiate church at Restalrig.(18)  As part of this new arrangement, a vicarage portionary was instituted to serve the cure in the parish church.  This union proved lasting and at the Refomation the parsonage was recorded as pertaining to the dean of Restalrig while the vicarage, in the hands of John Manderton, was set for £40.(19)

Notes

1. J M Mackinlay, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland. Non-Scriptural Dedications (Edinburgh, 1914), 235.

2. A O Anderson (ed), Early Sources of Scottish History, ii (Edinburgh, 1922), 520 [Pontifical Offices of St Andrews].

3. 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; The Correspondence, Inventories, Account Rolls and Law Proceedings of the Priory of Coldingham, ed J Raine (Surtees Society, 1841), cviii.

4. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, i, 1418-1422, eds E R Lindsay and A I Cameron (Scottish History Society, 1934), 221-2.

5. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, ii, 1423-1428, ed A I Dunlop (Scottish History Society, 1956), 48, 75; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, iii, 1428-1432, ed I B Cowan (Scottish History Society, 1970), 134-5.

6. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, x, 1447-1455, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1915), 220.

7. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, v, 1447-1471, ed J Kirk, R J Tanner and A I Dunlop (Glasgow, 1997), no.493 [hereafter CSSR, v].

8.CSSR, v, no.571.

9. I B Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society, 1967), 128.

10. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xii, 1458-1471, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1933), 635-6 [hereafter CPL, xii].

11.CSSR, v, 1350.

12.CSSR, v, nos. 493, 680, 1091, CPL, xii, 180, 282, 672.

13.CSSR, v, no.1471.

14.CSSR, v, no.1395.

15. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xiii, 1471-1484, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1955), 17, 53-4 [hereafter CPL, xiii].

16. CPL, xiii, 68.

17. CPL, xiii, 107, 172, 428; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xiv, 1484-1492, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1960), 78-80 [hereafter CPL, xiv].

18.CSSR, v, no.1329; CPL, xiv, 211-213.

19. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 115, 141, 142, 143.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: A mensal church of the bishops of St Andrews by 1298, the annexation was revoked in 1451. In 1465 it was united to the capitular mensa of St Salvator’s College, the parson to become a canon. It was erected into a prebend in 1477/8 then united to the archiepiscopal mensa in 1482. In 1487 it was finally annexed to the collegiate church of Restalrig, with a vicar pensioner thereafter.(1)

Mackinlay notes that the church was the only one in Scotland dedicated to St Edwin of Northumbria.(2)

1420 Successful supplication for re-admittance to Lasswade by Patrick Stephens (former rector of Penicuik) who had been deprived after committing simony when exchanging churches with previous rector John Dalchet (value 40 marks).(3)

1424 Unsuccessful attempt by Robert de Chrannach (secretary of John, earl of Buchan) to replace Patrick on charge of simony. In 1430 further attempt to remove Patrick by a certain Patrick Parkle, who accused Stephens of committing ‘homicide, simony, perjury incest and fornication with nuns’.(4)

1451 Appropriation of the church to the episcopal mensa of St Andrews at the request of bishop James Kennedy, to become active on the death of John Gray, if successful appropriation of Lasswade to mensa to be revoked.(5)

1456-58 James Livingstone was perpetual vicar, followed in quick succession by James Inglis in 1464 and George Abernethy (MA) in 1466.(6)

1468 Confirmation of recent decision by Patrick, bishop of St Andrews, who taking though that it is very difficult and burdensome for the inhabitants of the castle of Dalkeith and town of Dalkeith to go to Lasswade…therefore separated into two vicarages, new one centred on the collegiate church of St Nicholas with the parochial altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.(7)

1468-69 Confirmation that Lasswade has been united an incorporated into capitular mensa of college of St Salvator’s, St Andrews.(8)

1473 Attempt to appropriate Lasswade and other churches to archiepiscopal mensa of St Andrews. Union referred to as dissolved by 1476 when Robert Blackadder collated to rectory on death of Abernethy.(9)

1478 Church erected into a prebend of St Salvators. Following death or cession of Blackadder, there is an order that no one is to hold the church who is not a doctor or licentiate of canon law.(10)

1483-1487 On promotion of Blackadder to Glasgow in 1483 John Fresal (licentiate of law) collated to Lasswade. Archbishop of St Andrews refuses to institute John, still claiming that church belongs of their mensa.(11)

1487 At the instance of James III the church is finally annexed to the deanery of Restalrig, with vicar portionary to serve church.(12)

1510 Thomas Nudre (archdeacon of Moray) holds perpetual vicarage of Lasswade [spelt Lesvauld, described as pertaining to the archdeaconry of Moray so perhaps wrongly identified as Lasswade by the editors?](13)

1516 Appeal concerning parish clerkship, held by James Sinclair.(14)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church parsonage pertains to deanery of Restalrig. Vicarage held by John Manderston, set for £40.(15)

Account of Collectors of Thirds of Benefices (G. Donaldson): Third of vicarage £6 13s 4d.(16)

1563 St Leonard’s chapel, ‘situated beside Lasswade’.(17)

1591 (9 Dec) A visitation of the church of Lasswade by the Presbytery of Dalkeith accepts the minister. The minister notes that the course of all disorder is the parishioners who only come to church for marriage and baptism and that no gentlemen were prepared to take on the office of Eldar and Deacon, therefore John Sinclair and other gentlemen being demanded to take the offices. (The problem appears to be a feud between the minister and members of the Ramsay dynasty, particularly one George Ramsay, accused of slandering the minister).(18)

1593 (3 Oct) Synod of Lothian and Tweedale visitation of the presbytery of Dalkeith finds that doctrine was kept in all the churches on the Sabbath but none in the churches of Lasswade and Cockpen.(19)

1620 (26 Feb) The session agrees with David Anderson, slater, for slating the southwest part of the church and pointing the rest, £26 13s in total.(20)

1622 (21 Nov) A visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith approves the minister, but cites problems of attendance by the gentlemen of the parish and orders a stent to be gathered for the building of the kirk yard dyke.(21)

1629 (5 Apr) £16 paid to David Anderson for pointing the church.(22)

1633 (27 Jan) John Walter, glass wright paid £5 2s for 26 foot of wire to put on the windows of the kirk about the wester door and on the gabill window and on the back windows.(23)

1634 917 Aug) £30 paid to David Anderson, slater, for pointing the kirk.(24)

1636 (3 Mar) James Porteous, minister at Lasswade reports that forsamekle as the parish of Glencourse has been annexed to his kirk the many years bygone he is unable, due to infirmity and age, of travelling to the other church regularly and has remitted the church to Alexander Robeson.(25)

1638 (20 May) Kirk pointed by David Anderson, paid £26 15s 4d.(26)

1639 (3 July) Contract made with David Blair, slater to uphold the church and steeple in the slate work, for 9 years and to point and mend the ruinous holes in the church, £10 pa.(27)

1657 The session and heritors having seen the fabric of the church how that ‘by the great wind it is ruinous and a great part of the slates blown off’ and if it is not timeously helped and repaired. Men nominated to organise the costing of the work.(28)

1662 (30 Oct) Slater paid for 11 days work about the kirk, £18 in total.(29)

1665 (23 July) Further payment to a slater, £5 10s.(30)

1676 (30 Apr) James Wauch, glass wright paid for his work on the 4 great windows of the steeple, £10.(31)

1686 (17 June) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Dalkeith notes that the fabric of the parish church is under decay and ruinous and needful for repair. George Reny, slater and John Rioch, wright, commissioned to make the repairs: they state that it is necessary to take off the slates, and also the lathing which is wholly rotten. Full cost of required work is £604 13s.(32) The kirk session notes that ‘the church being very ruinous in the roof thereof, and the heritors being ready and willing to repair the same’.(33)

1711 (19 June) A compt for the major repairs of the church are noted in the presbytery. The ‘north syde wall to be taken down, and the east gabell from top to bottom, and the south syde wall to be taken down from the east gabell o the door about the middle of the church from the top to the belting downwards. The costs of materials £830, £172 more for workmanship, new glass and a new roof.(34)

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev John Paton, 1797): [New church is under construction, no reference to the remains of older building.](35)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev Campbell Mackenzie, 1843): ‘Church was built in 1798…. In the centre of it [the church yard] stands the ruin of the old church which has been converted to family vaults’.(36)

Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches: (George Hay): 1793, renovated c.1835 and 1886, now disused, fragments of medieval kirk and 17th century aisle.(37)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 128.

2. Mackinlay, Non-Scriptural Dedications, p. 235.

3. CSSR, i, 221-22.

4. CSSR, ii, 48 & 75, CSSR, iii, 134-45.

5. CPL, x, 220.

6. CSSR, v, nos. 493, 680 & 1091, CPL, xii, 180, 282 & 672.

7. CSSR, v, no.1329.

8. CSSR, v, nos. 1350 & 1471, CPL, xii, 635-6.

9. CPL, xiii, 17, 53-4.

10. CPL, xiii, 68.

11. CPL, xiii, 172, CPL, xiv, 78-79.

12. CPL, xiv, 211-13.

13. CPL, xviii, no.81.

14. St Andrews Formulare, 1514-46, i, 61.

15. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 115, 141, 142 & 143.

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

17. Prot Bk of Gilbert Grote, 1552-1573,   no. 246 & 247.

18. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1, fols. 258-259.

19. Synod Records of Lothian and Tweeddale, p. 65.

20. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1615-1637, CH2/471/1, fol. 28.

21. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1582-1630, CH2/424/1, fol. 508.

22. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1615-1637, CH2/471/1, fol. 36.

23. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1615-1637, CH2/471/1, fol. 50.

24. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1615-1637, CH2/471/1, fol. 55.

25. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1630-1639, CH2/424/2, fol. 86.

26. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1637-1655, CH2/471/2, fol. 5.

27. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1637-1655, CH2/471/2, fol. 15.

28. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1655-1669, CH2/471/3, fols. 58-59.

29. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1655-1669, CH2/471/3, fol. 124.

30. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1655-1669, CH2/471/3, fol. 153.

31. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, Collections and debursements (inc. minutes), 1675-1689, CH2/471/9, fol. 8.

32. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1673-1688, CH2/424/5, fols. 292-94.

33. NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, Collections and debursements (inc. minutes), 1675-1689, CH2/471/9, fol. 74.

34. NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1705-1711, CH2/424/9, fols. 349-351.

35. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1797), x, 283.

36. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1843), x, 335-36.

37. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, pp. 34, 77, 94 & 266.

Bibliography

NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1615-1637, CH2/471/1.

NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1637-1655, CH2/471/2.

NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, 1655-1669, CH2/471/3.

NRS Lasswade Kirk Session, Collections and debursements (inc. minutes), 1675-1689, CH2/471/9.

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

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

NRS Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1673-1688, CH2/424/5.

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

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

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1418-22, 1934, ed. E.R. Lindsay and A.I. Cameron, (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 1428-32, 1970, ed. A.I. Dunlop; and I.B. Cowan, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

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

Mackinlay, J.M, 1914, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland. Non-Scriptural Dedications, Edinburgh.

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

Protocol Book of Mr Gilbert Grote, 1552-1573, 1914, ed. W. Angus (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

St Andrews Formulare, 1514-46, 1942-44, eds. G. Donaldson & C. Macrae (Stair Society), Edinburgh.

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

Synod Records of Lothian and Tweeddale, 1589-1596, 1640-1649, 1977, ed. J. Kirk (Stair Society), Edinburgh.

Architectural description

The possibility of the site being the location for early Christian worship is raised by two cross arm fragments that have been found. They were presented to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 1867.(1) It is possible that there was a mother church or minster of long standing here, since the medieval church had dependent chapels at Dalkeith, Glencorse and Roslin.

Lasswade is the first church to be listed among Bishop David de Bernham’s many dedications; it took place on 6 May 1240.(2) While these dedications are not usually associable with specific building operations, in this case, on the basis of the little we know about the church, it cannot be ruled out that a campaign had been recently completed.

By 1274 it is likely that Lasswade was a mensal church of the bishops of St Andrews, as it certainly was by 1298, when a vicarage settlement is said to have been in place. Rights over the church proved problematic in the fifteenth century. In 1465 Bishop James Kennedy made an ineffective attempt to unite it with the capitular mensa of St Salvator’s College in St Andrews; in 1477/8 it was instead erected into a prebend of St Salvator’s, but in 1480 an attempt was made to unite it with the archiepiscopal mensa. Seven years later, however, both the parsonage and vicarage were annexed to Restalrig Collegiate Church, with the cure being served by a pensionary vicar.(3)

Very little now survives of the medieval church. Periodic repairs are known to have been carried out in the course of the seventeenth century, but by the early eighteenth century there was a need for major interventions. A report of 19 June 1711 said that much of the east, south and north walls required rebuilding, with materials costed at £830 and work at £172.(4) By 1774 there were serious thoughts of replacing the building altogether; but it was instead decided to cut off the western parts, perhaps because of the dangerous state of the tower, and to extend the church to the east.(5)

It is not clear if that was done, however, and an altogether new building was erected in 1793.(6) That new church was itself demolished in 1956. Photographs before its destruction show it to have been a cruciform building with the central square rising above the roofs of the arms, and with tripartite windows set within arches at the ends of the arms.(7)

The church currently in use by the parish was built for a United Secession congregation in 1830.(8) It is an austere rectangular structure, with the entrance in a salient that is capped by a pediment and bellcote. The date of its construction is inscribed on the cornice of the pediment.

Following the move to the new church in 1793, the tower and the western stretches of the nave walls of the medieval building were allowed to remain in place, and their appearance was carefully recorded in a series of elevations. That record was fortunate, because in 1866 the tower and adjoining walls, which appear to have been badly fissured by then, collapsed at a time that work on them was in progress.(9)

The drawings show a carefully detailed building that can be dated to the early decades of the thirteenth century. The tower is shown as of three main stages, with string courses below the windows at each level. The lower faces on the north side were lit by single lancets without hood moulds, and the south face had probably been treated similarly, but a rectangular door approached by cantilevered steps had been cut at the lowest level.

Towards the interior of the church there was a round-arched frame to a rectangular doorway at the lower level, and above that was a round arch that had been partly blocked when a rectangular door was inserted. It is not clear if the upper arch was primary or secondary; if the former it suggests there was a west gallery, a feature for which varying forms of evidence are found at a number of later medieval churches, including the collegiate churches of Castle Semple, Innerpeffray and St Salvator’s College in St Andrews.

Two parallel sets of nave roof creases are shown on the east face of the tower, suggesting that the final roof was set at a lower level than was initially intended. The belfry stage of the tower was lit by paired lancets to each face, but in all cases the mullion between the lights had been lost. The tower was capped by a double-pitched roof between substantial coped gables to east and west, with a single small round-arched light at the base of each gable; the roof had been reconstructed at a lower level than was provided for in the gables.

The nave was depicted as unaisled, but a degree of finesse was shown in the way that the bottom string course of the tower was extended along the south nave wall, continuing as imposts to the round-arched south door. Within that arch the door was rectangular, though it is not clear if that was its original form or if it had been modified. It may be suspected that there would have been an inner order carried on nook shafts.

Nearly all of this has been lost, apart from lengths of footings composed of cubical masonry along the south side of the nave. There are gaps where the south nave door and the door into the tower would have been. Built into the reconstituted masonry where the south wall of the tower would have abutted the west wall of the nave is an inverted nook shaft base.

Around the north and east sides of the church are a number of burial aisles or enclosures. The two at the east end were, from east to west, for the Dundas viscounts Melville and the Prestons of Valleyfield. Beneath the eastern end of the north wall of the Melville enclosure is a length of chamfered base course, which raises the possibility that it was built on the site of the chancel of the medieval church, and that part of its masonry had been retained.

The barrel-vaulted western aisle on the north side was for the Drummonds of Hawthornden, which was restored in honour of the poet, William Drummond, in 1892. It now houses a late medieval armoured effigy. East of this is the aisle of the Clerks of Eldin, which originally opened towards the church through a wide arch. It has a two-light transomed window with a vesica between the light heads, and the outer upper angles are reinforced by features wit the appearance of miniature bartizans.   

Notes

1. J. Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson, The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1903, pt 3, pp. 423-4.

2. Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, Edinburgh, 1922, vol. 2, 520.

3. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, p. 128.

4. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Dalkeith, Minutes, 1705-11, CH2/424/9, fols 349-51.

5. National Records of Scotland, GD 164/Box40/286.

6. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 1, p, 335.

7. Richard Emerson, ‘Robert Adam and John Clerk of Eldin, in Ian Gow and Alistair Rowan, eds, Scottish Country Houses 1600-1914, Edinburgh, 1995, pp. 174-175.

8. Colin McWilliam, The Buildings of Scotland, Lothian, Harmondsworth, 1978, pp. 276-7.

9. David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, Edinburgh, vol. 1, 1896, pp. 471-74.

Map

Images

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

  • 1. Lasswade Church, from west

  • 2. Lasswade Church, from south east

  • 3. Lasswade Church, Clerk of Eldin Aisle, from north west

  • 4. Lasswade Church, Clerk of Eldin Aisle, interior looking north

  • 5. Lasswade Church, Drummond of Hawthornden Aisle, north gable

  • 6. Lasswade Church, Drummond of Hawthornden Aisle, effigy

  • 7. Lasswade Church, Drummond of Hawthornden Aisle, monument

  • 8. Lasswade, Church, Melville Aisle

  • 9. Lasswade Church, Melville Aisle, base course on north side

  • 10. Lasswade Church, inscriptions in Melville Aisle

  • 11. Lasswade Church, south nave door

  • 12. Lasswade Church, recycled stone in west wall

  • 13. Lasswade Church, cross arm, 1 (Allen and Anderson, now in National Museum of Scotland)

  • 14. Lasswade Church, cross arm, 2 (Allen and Anderson, now in National Museum of Scotland)

  • 15. Lasswade churchyard, gravestone,1

  • 16. Lasswade churchyard, gravestone, 2

  • 17. Lasswade Church, tower, east elevation (MacGibbon and Ross)

  • 18. Lasswade Church, tower, north elevation (MacGibbon and Ross)

  • 19. Lasswade Church, tower, south elevation (MacGibbon and Ross)

  • 20. Lasswade Church, tower, west elevation (MacGibbon and Ross)

  • 21. Lasswade Church, plan (MacGibbon and Ross)

  • 22. Lasswade, present parish church

  • 23. Lasswade, present parish church, date inscription