Talk:Berwickshire Towns and Villages E

From the Family Tree Forum Reference Library


A partnership between two architects (Henry Hardy and John Rutherford Wight) brought about the design of Earlston Parish Church. First exhibited in 1891 the design was constructed on a sloping site shortly afterwards. Standing higher than the main road it faces the building makes an impressive sight, set well back in a neat churchyard and surrounded by headstones it looks a much older building than first appears.


Eccles Parish Church sits on a long established religious site. Although Eccles is just a small village today the documented religious connections stretch back to at last the mid 1100's. The name Eccles (from the latin Ecclesia, meaning church0 suggests there could have been an even earlier church dedicated to St Cuthbert. The current church dates to 1774, originally built to replace a smaller building and with a capacity (when built) of 1000, the site also contains the remains of the Convent of St Mary the Virgin, a convent of Cistercian nuns formed in the 1100's.
During the Anglo-Scottish wars of the early 1500's the nuns acted as spies for the English Monarchy in return for protection but by the mid 1500's the Earl of Hertford destroyed the convent during one of the many cross border raids.

Eccles Free Church is now used as the community centre/village hall. The "T" plan building dates to 1844, and is therefore a very early example of a Free Church. It is a simple stone building on the main road through the village and a few hundred yards from the parish church. The congregation dwindled as the years passed, assorted historical gazettes put the numbers at around 180 in the late 1840's but down to around 60 or so by the end of the 1800's.

Leitholm United Presbyterian Kirk was originally built as a Relief Church in 1835. The congregation formed in 1833 and had previously met in the nearby Plough Inn. The earliest part of the building is the basically square two story section, the addition of the entrance hall and vestry taking place in 1872 (a date stone above the entrance quotes the year) and the belfry was added two yars later. The interior fitments (organ, pulpit, communion table etc) date to the 1950's.


The site of Edrom Church has been the home of a place of worship since the 1100's. A dispute between the landowner and Durham Cathedral was settled in favour of Durham and the original church is believed to date from 1147. The adjacent burial vault contains stonework from the original doorway (known as the Edrom Arch) and despite the passage of time shows fine detailed carving.
A chapel added to the main structure in 1499 still survives and is the oldest part of the church in the original position. Much of the church was rebuilt in the 1730's and again during the 1880's, this final stage of building enlarged the church and is noted on a stone mounted near the door.

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