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Mid Calder, Main Street, Mid Calder Parish Church

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Cross (Period Unassigned), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Mid Calder, Main Street, Mid Calder Parish Church

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Cross (Period Unassigned), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Kirk Of Calder; Midcalder; Parish Church Of St John; St John's Church; Sandilands Burial Vault; War Memorial Plaque

Canmore ID 49058

Site Number NT06NE 3

NGR NT 07372 67323

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Mid Calder
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Recording Your Heritage Online

St John's Parish Church, Main Street, from 1541

Stunning evidence of the 16th-century ambitions of the Sandilands. Commissioned, designed and paid for by Magister Peter Sandilands who, as the younger son of the sixth Knight of Calder, went into the church to become rector of Mid Calder. The long seven-bay church, three in the choir and four in the nave (with a lower roof and rectangular windows) with cloister opening from the choir, had progressed beyond the vestry and foundations of the choir on Sandilands' death. He left minute instructions to his nephew, Sir James Sandilands of Calder, future Lord Torphichen, as to what was to be built. The nave was never begun. In 1863, Brown & Wardrop added the transepts and belfry (replacing the site of the village school). Pleasant 1595 wooden bench pew with the initials JS and IL inscribed The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want; with a tympanum of thistles. Stained glass, 1895, by Hardman in an 1883 memorial window to James Paraffin Young. Outstandingly rich carved finials rising from the sacristy. Conservation work by Stewart Tod & Partners (taking care to protect the bat colonies)

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

Archaeology Notes

NT06NE 3 07372 67323.

(NT 07372 67323). Midcalder parish church, dedicated to St John, was built between c.1530-1550, on the site of an earlier church. The transepts, which stand on the site of an old schoolhouse, were added in 1876.

The oldest gravestone in the churchyard is dated 1636.

A sandstone block, the head of a cross-shaft, found in the churchyard, measuring 15" x 12 1/2" x 4", was donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) in 1883 (Accession no No: IB 129). It is ornamented on each face with a cross design within a circle, all in relief.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1915; NMAS 1892; SDD List 1963

The church is as described and in normal use. No further information.

Visited by OS (DWR) 28 March 1974.


Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.


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