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Bedrule Church

Church (19th Century), Hogback Stone(S) (Early Medieval), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Bedrule Church

Classification Church (19th Century), Hogback Stone(S) (Early Medieval), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Bedrule Kirk: War Memorial Plaques

Canmore ID 55209

Site Number NT51NE 21

NGR NT 59922 17925

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Bedrule
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT51NE 21.00 59922 17925

NT51NE 21.01 centred 5950 1793 graveyard

(NT 5993 1792) Church (NR)

OS 6" map (1917-38)

Architecture Notes

Architect: Leadbetter (of Leadbetter & Fairley) 1914

Bedrule Church and Graveyard. The existing church is modern, but the following items are preserved within it. (A Inglis 1917)

(1) A very small but complete stone measuring only 2 ft. in length by 6 1/2 in. thick, with a greatest breadth of 9 1/2 in., on which is represented a figure clad in a robe reaching to the ankles. The head rests on a pillow and the hands are folded together upon the breast in the attitude of prayer. On the sinister side of the figure is a sword with straight quillons and lozenge-shaped pommmel.

(2) A fragment of a hog-backed tombstone measuring 1 ft. 3 1/2 in. in length by 7 in. thick, each side being 7 1/2 in. broad and showing three rows of shingle pattern.

(3) A fragment of another hog-backed stone about 9 1/2 in. in length, 1 ft. 4 in. in greatest breadth and about 9 in. thick, each side being 9 1/2 in. broad. It appears to have borne four rows of shingle pattern. The following tombstones are in the churchyard:

(1) A recumbent slab lying SE. of the church, on which is incised a sheild containing four pairs of initials, G T and H O accompanied by the date 1618, and I T and M T with the date 1638, as well as a device like a mallet head downwards. The lower part of the slab is occupied by a modern inscription commemorating members of the Davidson family.

(2) A large table-stone, probably of the early 18th century, standing on baluster legs, S of the church. The moulded edges are enriched with egg-and-dart ornament and probably cable ornament as well. On the upper surface a small shield, carved in relief, is charged: Within a bordure, a stag's head erased; in base a mullet for difference. This stone has not been inscribed.

(3) A second table-stone, side by side with the former, has a shield in the upper part, flanked by the initials G K and H T, and charged: A chevron, in base a battle-axe. Above the shield there runs a label, but the motto is illegible.

(4) A small headstone with scrolled top, also S of the church, bears on one side a palm branch and a human head, and below them the inscription: HERE LYES ELIZABETH / CHISHOLM WHO DIED / ANNO 1652 AND WAL/TER CHISHOLM WHO / DIED ANNO 1652 CHIL/ DREN TO WALTER CHISHOLM. The other side displays cornucopias and funerary emblems.

(5) A small headstone with a scrolled top, which stands near the gate giving entry from the manse, bears on one side the inscription : HERE LYES KETREN / SINKLER SPOWS TO / IOHN ALEXANDER / ANNO 1691. On the other side are funerary emblems.

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1933 and 1937.


Publication Account (1985)

The present church dates to 1804, was largely rebuilt in 1877 and enlarged in 1914. It is an attractive little country church with some fascinating early 20th century stained glass windows.

The east window was commissioned by Sir Robert and Lady Usher as a memorial to those who died in the Great War, 1914-1918, and incorporates stylised scenes from that war. The centre panel features a warship offshore, with marines handling equipment and marching in unifonn. To the left, infantry march against a back-drop of a field gun and tank; to the right cavalry pass by a soldier offering water to a wounded, bandaged colleague lying on the ground. All three panels provide a telling insight into the dress,equipment and techniques of the time, as well as a timely reminder of the sorrow and futility of war.

In addition to a number of interesting 17th-19th century gravestones outside the church, within are two fragments of hog backed stones with shingle 'roof patterns (see section 6), and a very small but complete sculpture of a robed figure, head resting on a pillar and hands folded upon chest as in prayer.

A little downstream from the church, 50m above an old ford and on the west bank, is a conical mound known locally as Castle Knowe (NT 595182); it is partly natural but the top is man-made. The northern slope is relatively gentle; access was barred by a crosstrench, now a grassy terrace; and on the summit there are traces of a roughly oval rampart. It has all the appearances of a 12th-13th centmy motte (see section 4).

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

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding building.

Information from Scottish Borders Council.


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