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Gifford, Main Street, Yester Parish Church And Hearse House

Architectural Fragment(S) (17th Century), Church (18th Century) (1708)-(1710), Hearse House (19th Century) (1830), Sundial (Period Unknown), War Memorial (20th Century), Bell (Medieval)

Site Name Gifford, Main Street, Yester Parish Church And Hearse House

Classification Architectural Fragment(S) (17th Century), Church (18th Century) (1708)-(1710), Hearse House (19th Century) (1830), Sundial (Period Unknown), War Memorial (20th Century), Bell (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Church Of Scotland; Duns Road; Gifford Kirk; War Memorial

Canmore ID 56132

Site Number NT56NW 3

NGR NT 53482 68104

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT56NW 3.00 53482 68104

(NT 53482 68104) Church (NAT)

OS 6" map (1970).

NT56NW 3.01 Centred NT 53505 68124 Graveyard

NT56NW 3.02 NT 53517 68130 Mort House (Hearse House)

For (predecessor) St Bathan's Church (NT 54457 67131), see NT56NW 4.

Gifford Parish Church was completed in 1710, superseding that at Bothans (NT56NW 4). Within it are preserved several pieces of ecclesiastical furniture removed from the old church.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913

This church is still in use.

Visited by OS (BS) 22 July 1975.

Architecture Notes


The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, contains, among the 'uncatalogued MSS of General Hutton', and numbered 40, vol 1, a Ground Plan of the old church of Yester, South of Gifford, signed Dunfermline, Decr. 1817, by A Morton.


Field Visit (30 May 1913)

249. Ecclesiastical Furniture, Parish Church, Gifford.

This church was completed in 1710, superseding the church of St. Cuthbert at Bothans (No. 250) and within it are preserved the undernoted pieces of ecclesiastical furniture removed from the older church.

BELL. In the tower is a long-waisted bell (fig. 31), 17 1/8 inches in diameter and 13 ¼ inches high, of late medieval type belonging to a group almost certainly cast in Scotland, probably in Edinburgh, at a foundry which has not yet been traced. On the skirt is the inscription O MATER DEI MEMENTO MEI ANNO DOM M CCCCLXXX XII. With the exception of the initial O which is a small Lombardic, the inscription is in Gothic letters. An S-like ornamental stop is placed at the end of each word and each division of the date, which is 1492. Above the inscription is a frieze of rather roughly moulded fleurs-de-lys; below are two rims enclosing a shallow hollow moulding. Immediately below these rims and at the top of the waist, just beneath the beginning of the inscription, are a plain St. Andrew's cross or X, a small Lombardic I and the representation of a hammer, about the same size as the letters of the inscription. The lettering, fleur-de-lys frieze and S stop as well as the X and hammer at the top of the waist are the same as those on the first bell at St. Giles', Elgin, cast in 1502; but the Elgin bell has a small Lombardic E S instead of I between the X and the hammer. Very similar bells are at Dalgety, Fife; Uphall , Linlithgowshire; Linlithgow (3rd); and Dundonald, Ayrshire. They all belong to the same period and are almost certainly from the same foundry. The question is discussed in detail in Church Bells of Linlithgowshire pp. 6-11. The bell is rung by an old half-wheel 46 inches in diameter.

PULPIT.The pulpit resembles those in the churches of Pencaitland and Spott and dates from the 17th century. It is built of oak and measures 3 feet 2 inches by 4 feet 4 inches in diameter by 3 feet 5 inches in height and is provided with a sounding board and panelled back. The front is bayed and like the halfits panelled, with fields enriched with strapwork cut out of the solid.

PANEL.In the Tweeddale gallery is a wooden panel dated 1687 bearing an Earl's coronet within a scroll and underneath the initials of John Hay and Jean Scott in monogram.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 30 May 1913.

OS Map ref: xv. N.E.

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.


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