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Bathgate, Kirkton, Old Parish Church

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Bathgate, Kirkton, Old Parish Church

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Kirkton Churchyard

Canmore ID 47770

Site Number NS96NE 9

NGR NS 98998 68159

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Bathgate
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County West Lothian

Recording Your Heritage Online

Old Parish Kirk, Kirkton

Gaunt rectangular ruin originally belonging to Newbattle Abbey, abandoned 1739 when the High Kirk was built in Main Street. Vestigial capitals to its wide doorway, and lancet window on the north side. Turfed within, and lined with memorial tablets to the Norvels, Marjoribanks and other Bathgate worthies. Notable, if badly weathered, recumbent 13th-century stone effigy of a priest.

Taken from "West Lothian: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Stuart Eydmann, Richard Jaques and Charles McKean, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NS96NE 9.00 9899 6815

NS96NE 9.01 NS 9900 6814 Covenanter's Grave

(NS 9899 6815) Church (NR) (Rems of)

OS 1:10000 map (1973)

The ruin of the former parish church of Bathgate stands within the churchyard at Kirkton. It has been a single-chambered structure, measuring 91' x 19'6" within 3' - 4' thick walls. The masonry is mainly of rubble, but there is an admixture of ashlar, obviously the remains of a much earlier building, which has been so extensively patched that few details can now be traced. Now dilapidated and roofless, the W gable, which stands to its full height, is intaken internally and externally at wall-head level as is usual in early church building. The E gable, largely rebuilt, shows the lower part of a central buttress. The entrance is in the N wall through the remains of a late Transitional doorway, 7' wide, which has possible been rebuilt. At the E end of the N wall is a contemporary window with arched head, and there are traces of the priests' door.

The ONB (1854) and MacGibbon and Ross (1896) note the recumbent state of a priest lying within the church. It was dug up in the interior in 1852. The interior of the church is grass-covered, and various grave-slabs and mural tablets have been built into the walls.

The church was granted to Holyrood Abbey by Malcolm IV (1153-65) and subsequently given by them to Newbattle Abbey, confirmed in 1372. It was probably abandoned in 1739, when a new church was erected.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1924; SDD List 1963

Visited by OS (JLD) 17 February 1953

The remains of this church are generally as described.

Visited by OS (BS) 9 August 1974

The walls of this roofless church were consolidated in 1846. Much of the masonry is no doubt medieval, but of features there are only the N door jambs with worn capitals of about 1200, and a small lancet window. The effigy of the priest noted above is of mid-13th century date.

C McWilliam 1978.


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