Talk:Roxburghshire Towns and Villages M

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Makerstoun Church is the only church within the parish. Like many other parishes within the borders Makerstoun is both small (approximately 12 square miles) and reliant on agriculture for employment. The church dates to 1807-8, sits almost centrally in the parish and within the village, at which time the population of the parish is recorded at around 250, the church capacity is around 200 people and the parish population rose to nearly 400 by the mid 1800's. Most of the land occupied by the parish belonged to Sir Thomas and Lady Makdougal Brisbane, the remainder under the ownership of the Duke of Roxburghe. The church is a simple building, basically a rectangular building, plain glass windows and lacks any elaborate decoration, the entrance sitting directly on the roadside. The kirkyard is quite extensive considering the location and population, a quiet and peaceful setting overlooking fields and open countryside.


The records show that in 1326 a church was gifted to Dryburgh Abbey by the Bishop of Glasgow and dedicated to St Cuthbert, though it is likely that a church occupied the site before this date. Maxton Church was almost completely rebuilt in approximately 1812. Although parts of an older building can be found at the west end of the building the addition of the North Aisle in 1866 marked the last phase of alterations.


Melrose Parish Church opened in 1810, a simple square building with large galleries and a central pulpit. Almost totally destroyed by fire in early 1908 only the tower remains from the original building, the new building was dedicated in 1911. The chancel features the only stained glass in the building, the largest (central) section depicts the Crucifixion.

Melrose Abbey is the second abbey to be built at Melrose, the first some four miles away below Scott's View. The present abbey took over a decade to build and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in 1146. Along with the abbeys at Dryburgh, Kelso and Newbattle the English forces of Richard II burnt the abbey to the ground (along with many churches and entire villages in the borders region). Rebuilding of Melrose Abbey began soon after the opposing forces left but as was common through the region the fortunes of the abbey were severly curtailed. The remains visible today are those of the rebuilt abbey, the rebuilt sections are over 400 years old, open to the public and still featuring many finely carved figures and details saved from extensive damage by their height.

Designed by Benjamin Ferrey (although John Henderson is recorded as possible executant architect of the Ferrey design) and constructed between 1846 and 1850 Holy Trinity, Melrose is a nice example of Early English Style architecture. John Henderson (through Henderson and Hay) later made one of his many contributions at a lowlands church with the decorated chancel and transepts in 1900. Other examples of the work by both Henderson and Hay can be found at Galashiels, Kelso and Edinburgh. Stained glass in the chancel is contemporary with the construction date together with mosaic floor.

St Cuthbert RC Church, Melrose was originally constructed as a United Presbyterian building in the mid 1860's. By 1872 the building had been enlarged and the tower was re-designed. The church also served as a Church of Scotland building for a period of time and then known as St Cuthbert's Parish Church before being used by the current Roman Catholic congregation.

Our Lady and St Andrew RC Church, Melrose: Mass was first held at a house in Overhaugh Street in the town before transferring to the Bridge Inn assembly rooms. A chapel was erected in Stirling Street during the early 1850's but was quickly found to be inadequate to cater for the growing numbers of worshippers. The current building photographed here opened in 1858, almost adjacent to the previous chapel, but was not fully completed until the 1870's. Gothic styled and with a capacity of around 400 though the scale of the building suggests the capacity should perhaps be greater. The area has been changed greatly in recent years, the most dramatic changes being the demolition of the nearby railway station and railway lines. Bygone travellers arriving from Edinburgh and Hawick would pass within a few yards of the church as they arrived at the station.


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