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Glencorse, Old Parish Church

Church (17th Century)

Site Name Glencorse, Old Parish Church

Classification Church (17th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Glencorse Church; Glencorse Old Kirk

Canmore ID 51868

Site Number NT26SW 17

NGR NT 24518 63038

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Midlothian
  • Parish Glencorse
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District Midlothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT26SW 17.00 24518 63038.

NT26SW 17.01 24491 63051 Watch house

(NT 24518 63038) Church (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map (1957)

Glencorse church, built 1665, and mistakenly regarded by the RCAHMS as cruciform, has developed from an originally rectangular plan, the N and S aisles being added in 1699. There is a later W tower with a timber spire, but the building is now roofless, having been superseded in the late 19th century by a much larger church.

RCAHMS 1929 ; G Hay 1957.

As described above.

Visited by OS (RD) 16 January 1970

Apart from the wooden tower being in a ruined state there is no change to the previous field report. Restoration work is being carried out on the church.

Visited by OS (BS) 9 December 1975.

Architecture Notes


Scotland's Magazine August 1953

National Art Survey - 1 sheet tombstones 1878 (see under Pentland Church)


Photographic Survey (July 1965)

Photographic survey of Glencorse Old Parish Church and churchyard, Midlothian, by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Works in July 1965.

Archaeological Evaluation (2001)

NT 2452 6303 A building survey and archaeological evaluation were undertaken in advance of a programme of works to consolidate and restore the Scheduled church (NMRS NT 26 SW 17).

The building comprises an original unicameral church, aligned E-W, with aisles subsequently added to N and S and a later tower at the W end. A preliminary reassessment of the documentary and structural evidence suggests the following sequence for the building:

Phase 1: Nave, pre-1665.

Phase 2: Addition of N and S aisles: ?1665.

Phase 3: Addition of present forestairs (replacing earlier,

narrower stairs?).

Phase 4: Insertion of circular window and

datestone: 1699.

Phase 5: Addition of W tower: ?1811.

Phase 6: Abandonment: after 1885. Used for burial.

The evaluation comprised four test pits within the building, identifying a complex sequence of stratified deposits including floors, walls and inhumations. Two phases of use were identified, with an intervening period of abandonment. No dating evidence was recovered for these events.

Full report lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsors: Mr and Mrs H McCaig.

T Holden 2001

Excavation (February 2002)

NT 245 630

A small-scale excavation was carried out in February 2002 in the nave and both the N and S aisles of Glencorse Old Kirk (NT26SW 17). The excavation was undertaken to reduce the existing ground level to allow a new floor to be inserted within the kirk, as part of an ongoing restoration of the kirk and kirkyard. A quantity of disarticulated human bone was recovered in the excavation and subsequently reburied. Several structures were recorded at the formation level of the new floor, and these relate to former features within the nave. These features were recorded in plan only and remain in situ beneath the new floor.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsors: Mr & Mrs H McCaig

G Brown 2002


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