Stow, Galashiels Road, Old Stow Kirk And Churchyard
Burial Ground, Church
- Council Scottish Borders, The
- Parish Stow
- Former Region Borders
- Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
- Former County Midlothian
NT44SE 6 45930 44558
For successor and present church of St Mary of Wedale Stow Kirk at NT 4590 4438, see NT44SE 27.
(NT 4592 4455) Church (NR)
OS 6" map (1970)
The old parish church of Stow has been disused since 1876 when the present church (St Mary of Wedale parish church - at NT 4589 4436) was opened, and is now ruinous. It appears to have been a late 15th century building, comprising a nave and chancel, which was largely rebuilt in the 17th century, at which time the S aisle was added (an outside stair leads to a doorway dated 1660). In the W wall are two mullioned windows; one is dated 1771. Above them is a double light in 17th century style. Some of the red ashlar of the 15th century church can be seen on the N nave wall, and it projects buttress-wise at the SW corner where there is a section of the old base course. The 17th century work is a mixture of rubble and freestone.
When the Scots conquered Lothian in 1018, the church of St Mary of Wedale passed into the diocese of St Andrews. It was famous throughout the Middle Ages for its privilege of sanctuary and for the fragments of an image of the Virgin supposedly brought from Jerusalem by King Arthur. (The parish name 'Stow' derives from the Old English for a holy or consecrated place.) (See also NT44SE 9.)
RCAHMS 1929, visited 1915; G W S Barrow 1973; C McWilliam 1978.