Ancrum, Old Ancrum Church


Site Name Ancrum, Old Ancrum Church

Classification Church

Alternative Name(s) Livingston Church

Canmore ID 57097

Site Number NT62SW 2

NGR NT 62150 24885

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Ancrum
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT62SW 2 62150 24885

NT62SW 2.01 NT 6215 2485 Hogback Stone; Graveyard

(NT 6215 2488) Church (NAT).

OS 25" map, Roxburghshire, 1st ed., (1859).

Church (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Roxburghshire, (1923).

Parish Church, Hog-backed Stone, etc.

The former parish church of Ancrum is now reduced to its foundation. Beneath the turf of the church-yard, about 20yds S of the ruin, there lies a hog- backed stone about 6ft 4in in length, ornamented on both sides with five rows of shingle ornament. It was recorded in 1922, when more of the stone appears to have been above the surface, that its breadth was 1ft 10in at the head and 1ft 2in at the foot, and its height 1ft at either end and 1ft 1 1/2in in the middle. (J H Craw 1922). The churchyard also contains two small headstones of earlier date than 1707. The first, which has a shaped top, is carved on one side with a winged hour-glass, a skull, and a cherub's head. Behind the skull runs a scroll, bearing a motto in two lines, only the first words of each, respectively LIVE and MINDE, being legible today. On the back runs the inscription HERE LYES/IAMES LIGERTUOD/TENNANT IN H(OU)/ NDLIE UHO DIED/SUPTR 14 1621/HIS AGE 74/AS ALSO ISOBELL/LIGERTWOOD DAUT(E)R/TO WALTER LIGERT/UOOD TENNANT IN/MENHOUSE WHO DIED/ OCTBR 16 1720 HIR AGE 25. The second stone, also with a shaped top, displays in front a crudely carved skull and cross-bones, while the back bears the inscription HERE LYES/ADAM RICHARDSON/ WHO LIVED IN ANE ONEST REPUT ALL/HIS DAYES AND DIED/ IN OCTOBER THE 19/1701 AND OF HIS/AGE 55.


The bell of the modern parish church, now inaccessible, is understood to bear the inscription MICHAEL BVRGERHBVYS ME FECIT 1618.

RCAHMS 1956, visited 22 March and 13 October 1933.

This church was built in 1762 on the site of an earlier church. It is known as the Livingston Church from the fact that the celebrated John Livingston, a leading 17th century churchman, preached here, as minister of the parish, from 1648-62.

The present parish church (NT 6267 2456) was built in 1890 when, presumably, its predecessor was abandoned.

P W Lilley 1934; New Statistical Account (NSA, Rev J Paton 1837) 1845; F H Groome 1901.

The walls of this church are still extant to a greater degree than suggested by the RCAHMS. The east and west gables stand almost to their original height and the north wall has an average height of c 3.0m.

The south wall is broken in places to facilitate burials within the walls. A stone, inscribed '1762' is in the west gable.

The hog-backed stone was located at NT 6215 2485, protruding slightly above the turf. The headstones described by the RCAHMS are still evident.

No traces were seen of an earlier church nor could the name 'Livingston Church' be confirmed.

Hog-backed stone surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 23 January 1967.


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