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Lyne Parish Church

Church (17th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Lyne Parish Church

Classification Church (17th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Lyne Kirk

Canmore ID 50033

Site Number NT14SE 10

NGR NT 19178 40524

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Lyne
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Tweeddale
  • Former County Peebles-shire

Archaeology Notes

NT14SE 10 19178 40524.

Lyne Parish Church (NT 1918 4051) was erected shortly before the mid-17th century, probably between 1640 and 1645; it has been repaired from time to time, and was thoroughly restored in 1888. It is oblong on plan, and measures 54'6" E-W by 21'5" over 3'6" thick walls. The masonry is of random rubble with sandstone dressings; the building may originally have been harled.

The site may have been in ecclesiastical use since the 12th century, when the chapel of Lyne is recorded as a dependency of Stobo, but the church does not seem to have become parochial until about the beginning of the 14th century.

A font, evidently a relic of the medieval church, was discovered built into the masonry of the inner wall of the church; it has since been removed and mounted on a modern base.

RCAHMS 1967, visited 1962

The church is still in use. The font, dated 1644, is inside. There is no trace of any earlier church.

Visited by OS (DWR) 24 May 1971


Photographic Record (1896)

Photograph album with views from the Scottish Borders in 1896 including Peebles

Publication Account (1985)

A dependent chapel ofStobo may have been sited here in the 12th century. It does not seem to have become a parish church until the beginning of the 14th century, however, whilst the present church (restored in 1888) was most probably built between 1640 and 1645 by John Hay ofYester, subsequently 1st Earl of Tweeddale. Of random rubble with mainly pink and grey sandstone dressings, it has a slated roof and may originally have been harled.

The only entrance is now sheltered by a late 19th century porch, but in plan the church is essentially as it was- a narrow, rectangular building with traceried Gothic windows (east of the porch) which well illustrate a continuity of medieval forms so characteristic of early 17th century Scottish ecclesiastical architecture. The large pointed window with simple intersecting tracery in the centre of the east gable is also original.

The church's fittings are particularly interesting. Early timber furnishings are rare; at Lyne there are a 17th century semi-circular oak pulpit and two panelled and canopied oak pews. Small oak panels fixed to the back of each are inscribed with initials L, I, M, Y, and the outline of numerals indicates a date of 1644. The initials are of John Hay and his second wife Margaret, daughter of the 6th Earl of Haddington, whom he married in or after 1641. Pews and pulpit are original therefore, to the building of the present church.

The font is evidently a survival from pre-Reformation times, but none of the tombstones now visible in the churchyard predates 1707. The Adam-and-Eve stone, however, at the east end of the churchyard is uncommon. Dated 1712, its west face illustrates the Fall. Adam and Eve and the Serpent are shown below the Tree and Knowledge of Good and Evil; above is a skull and the words MEMENTO MORI; elsewhere an hour-glass, for the passing of time. The stone is in memory ofJanne(t) Veitch, daughter of John Veitch, tenant in Hamiltoun. She died young at the age of 16 years and 6 weeks.

Information from 'Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Lothian and Borders', (1985).

Conservation (November 2008)

NT 1917 4052 Further to the graveyard survey in 2007 (DES 2007, 172–3), the monument to Janet Veitch (d 1712) was removed for professional conservation prior to reinstallation in November 2008. The gravestone bears a particularly fine representation of the Fall, Adam and Eve and the Serpent being vividly depicted beneath the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and other sculpted features.

Conservation was required to make good the effects of well-meaning but inappropriate protective measures

which were apparently undertaken in the 1980s, when the gravestone was set on a concrete plinth in an enclosed perspex box. This exposed the stone to the effects of damp, moss and lichen growth and more recently damage from abrasion following failure and loosening of the cover. In order to address these problems, the stone has been cleaned and stabilised, set in a new sandstone shoe and protected by a secure and properly ventilated reinforced glass cover. The conservation work was carried out by Graciela Ainsworth

Sculpture Conservation and Restoration.

The other strand of this project has involved the production of interpretive materials explaining the significance of the gravestone and setting it and the church in their local archaeological and historical context. A graphic panel has been installed and a leaflet has been published; a booklet is in preparation.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland, Awards for All

Trevor Cowie and Helen Bradley (Peeblesshire Archaeological Society / Archaeology Scotland), 2008

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Measured Survey

NT 1917 4052 Members of Peeblesshire Archaeological Society, assisted by Helen Bradley (CSA), undertook a survey of the graveyard as part of a wider project which will combine conservation of an important 18th-century memorial with interpretation of the church and other local archaeological sites and monuments. The Society’s current work at Lyne forms one of a series of projects being developed under the auspices of the

CSA Adopt-a-Monument Scheme, re-launched in 2006 to offer support to volunteer groups in the conservation and promotion of local heritage.

Previous work at Lyne (undertaken by PAS in conjunction with Biggar Archaeology Group) involved the excavation of three long cists on the nearby glacial knoll known as Abbey Knowe (RCAHMS: NT14SE 25). An interpretive panel was subsequently constructed, explaining the importance of the cists and providing information about nearby sites, particularly the Roman fort (RCAHMS: NT14SE 4), which is easily visible from

the vantage point of the Knowe.

The Society has now turned its attention to the church and its graveyard, and in particular to the monument to Janet Veitch (d 1712), a relatively rare and well-preserved example of an Adam and Eve memorial (Willsher 1992). Owing to well-meaning but inappropriate housing in an enclosed perspex covering box in the 1980s, the stone has begun to suffer badly from a range of destructive effects ranging from mechanical damage to moss and lichen growth. As part of the wider Lyne project, PAS is attempting to raise funds to have the stone professionally conserved and redisplayed. The results of the graveyard survey will facilitate the interpretation and management of the site.

Archive deposited with RCAHMS and Scottish Borders Council SMR.

Willsher, B, 1992 Adam and Eve scenes on kirkyard monuments in the Scottish Lowlands, Proc Soc Antiq Scotl 122, 413-51.

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding building.

Information from Scottish Borders Council.


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