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Easter Pencaitland, Pencaitland Parish Church And Burial Ground

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Dovecot (Period Unassigned), Pillory (Post Medieval), Sundial(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Easter Pencaitland, Pencaitland Parish Church And Burial Ground

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Dovecot (Period Unassigned), Pillory (Post Medieval), Sundial(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Offertory Houses

Canmore ID 54706

Site Number NT46NW 16

NGR NT 44325 69012

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Pencaitland
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT46NW 16 44325 69012.

(NT 44325 69012) Pencaitland parish church, dating from the late 12th and 13th centuries has both a chancel and nave. From the centre of the W gable there projects an oblong tower, the lower portion of which, together with the N, E and W walls, are clearly medieval; their proportions suggest the much altered remains of a 12th c church. In the N wall are two large pointed windows, but both are now built up; a 17th c doorway is inserted in the infilling of the western window. The aisle projecting N from the chancel dates from the end of the 13th c. The N transept was added in the 16th or 17th c. There is a 17th c Renaissance doorway in the W wall, now built up.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913

Church in use.

Visited by OS (BS) 21 October 1975

The main body of the church is a long buttressed box apparently of the 16th or early 17th century, but probably standing on medieval foundations. Round-headed doors converted into windows are at the W end, and another (blocked) further E in the S wall. Added to the basic structure are the W tower, the N (Saltoun) aisle and the N chapel. The W tower is square for most of its height, but at the top it turns octagonal and apparently serves as a combined belfry and dovecot. It is topped by a pointed, slated spire. All this is presumably of 1631, the date on the lintel of the W door. There is a gallery stair in the angle with the W wall. The Saltoun aisle was formerly entered through a find mid-17th century door in its W wall. Immediately E of the Saltoun Aisle is a two-bay chapel, normally dated to the 13th century. However, details suggest that it was built later, in 13th century style. It became a pew in the 17th century; its E window tracery dates from 1882. The wall head has been raised and the corbel table reset at a higher level. Inside, the thickening of the wall E of the N aisle may indicate the position of a former chancel arch.

Jougs: The ring and chain for the collar are fixed on the NW buttress, by the outside stair.

C McWilliam 1978; D C Bailey and M C Tindall 1963; J Mackay 1979


Watching Brief (November 2011 - January 2012)

NT 4432 6901 A watching brief was carried out, November 2011 – January 2012, during groundworks relating to the upgrading of footpaths and the installation of drainage and footpath lighting in the grounds of Pencaitland Parish Church Cemetery. The human remains encountered during these works, both in situ articulated burials and redeposited charnel, were recovered and reburied, either as close to their original positions as possible, or in charnel caches whose locations were recorded. Exposed grave slabs, footings and boundary markers were cleaned and photographed. Architectural remains relating to a previous churchyard entrance and a former boundary wall were also recorded.

Archive: RCAHMS. Report: East Lothian HER

Funder: Pencaitland Parish Church

Philip Karsgaard, CFA Archaeology Ltd, 2013

(Source: DES)

Watching Brief (3 October 2013 - 4 October 2013)

NT 44383 68930 A watching brief was undertaken, October 2013, in the grounds of Pencaitland Parish Church during the excavation of two shallow trenches for the installation of an electricity cable on the SW side of the churchyard. No finds or features of archaeological significance were recorded.

Archive: RCAHMS. Report: East Lothian HER

Funder: East Lothian Council

Stuart Mitchell, CFA Archaeology Ltd, 2013

(Source: DES)


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