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Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Event ID 560722

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Accessing Scotland's Past Project


Smailholm Parish Church was founded in the twelfth century. Its original layout and some early fabric are still preserved, including a blocked window and a doorway in the south wall of the chancel. Inside the church is a fragment of medieval carved stone bearing dog tooth and link decoration, which was evidently discarded by the mason before completion because the stone was flawed.

The church was altered during the seventeenth century, in accordance with the needs of Reformed worship. The medieval doorway was converted into a window, and a belfry, bearing an angle-sundial dated 1662, added to the western gable. Alterations to the interior included the creation of a gallery or laird's loft, where the local landowner and his family sat, separated from the other parishioners.

In 1820, the north aisle was added and the interior again remodelled.

In 1907, a stained glass window was donated to the church which commemorated the celebrated novelist Sir Walter Scott. Scott lived near Smailholm and was a frequent visitor to the village during his formative years.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

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