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Jedburgh, Franciscan Friary

Friary (Medieval)

Site Name Jedburgh, Franciscan Friary

Classification Friary (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Kilmuir Court; High Street; Kilmun Court; Jedburgh Franciscan Friary; Observant Franciscan Friary

Canmore ID 57025

Site Number NT62SE 17

NGR NT 6505 2078

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT62SE 17 6505 2078

(NT 6505 2078) Convent (NR) (Site of).

OS 6" map, (1938).

The site of a Convent founded by the magistrates and inhabitants of Jedburgh in 1513; but as these religious orders were suppressed at the Reformation, the building was converted to a different purpose. It has long since been demolished.

Name Book 1859.

In April 1990 a geophysical survey and trial excavation were conducted to assess the archaeological potential of the unexcavated area, because of current development proposals.

Compact cobbled surfaces and robbed wall lines were uncovered in two trenches, possibly internal to the church, while a third trench was excavated onto undated cultivation furrows, cut into the natural clay. The archaeological deposits located are presently protected by post-medieval landscaping.

Sponsors: APG, HBM.

J M Clark 1990.

Excavation by AOC Scotland Ltd in advance of development revealed the mostly robbed out foundations of the SE end of a large building identified in the 1983-5 excavation. This was thought to be the Friary Church, although the location of a church to the south of the cloister would be unusual. From the traces of the foundations the wall was clearly composed of two well constructed faces and a rubble core. The foundations of the east end were strengthened by large, flat basal slabs, probably due to the proximity of the lade (see below). The SW wall robbing appeared to reflect the presence of a large buttress on that face. It became apparent that the site had been levelled with large dumps of redeposted natural clay prior to the construction of the Friary.

Some 19m to the west, a preserved wall was discovered running parallel with the Friary buildings. This was thought to possibly be a precinct wall enclosing the Friary grounds. It was disturbed to the S by 19th-century culverting of the Skiprunning burn, a water course which defines the modern property boundary.

South of the presumed church the continuation of a feature traced in the 1983-5 excavation was observed. It was then thought to be a man-made watercourse, perhaps supplying a mill to the NE of the Friary. The present excavation showed that it did indeed join the burn.

Within the presumed Friary precinct part of a skeleton was found. It had been truncated from the left shoulder to the left wrist by a later pit. The pit cut 1m into natural clay and rubble fill was very similar to that in the robber trenches. It was thought to be a clay pit backfilled with rubble during the demolition and robbing of the Friary.

Sponsor: Borders Regional Council.

I Rogers 1991.

Further remains of the Priory were recorded in the course of landscaping earlier discoveries for permanent display. The robbed NW corner of the Priory church was located as well as its point of junction with the outer wall of the W claustral range. There was abundant broken roof slates and a fragment of dressed ? window stone among the debris. The church has measured 38m in length with a width of 12m.

Sponsors: Borders Regional Council

J S Dent 1992.

Walls and Drainage Features:

NT 650 208. An area to the N of the Friary cloister (excavated in 1983-5) was stripped of topsoil by machine in preparation for the construction of a car park. Since this work didi not threaten the remains directly the area was simply cleaned and recorded by AOC (Scotland) Ltd. Excavation took place only within a stone-capped drain (See Fig.1) threatened with pressure damage. External walls of the Friary were uncovered, and the robbed out remains of a lade which ran N-S, E of the Friary. This appeared to turn a corner and run NE towards the nearby Skiprunning Burn. A well-built stone lined and capped drain, atypically preserved from robbing, was uncovered. It was fed by two openings through the Friary wall, one a stone lined shute, the other apparently once contained a lead pipe, and ran sharply downhill to join the lade. It was filled with rubble and silt. These deposits were removed and sampled. The drain was then filled with sand and the capstones replaced. A 20cm deep gulley filled with rubble was found running E from the lade towards a group of pits excavated in 1983-5. Sponsors: Borders Regional Co-operative Society.

I Rodgers 1992.

NT 650 207 Landscaping of the garden of Kilmun Court (aka Kilmuir Court) exposed further foundations of the presumed precinct wall, which earlier had been located by excavation to the S of the friary church (Rogers 1991). The wall extended from the previously exposed length to the boundary with Friarsgate on the W, and had been terraced into the existing slope, to leave the higher ground on the S.

Sponsor: Borders Regional Council.

J Dent 1995.

Scheduled as 'Jedburgh Franciscan Friary... the excavated footings of the conventual buildings of the Observanat [Observant] Franciscan Friary and of the adjoining parts of the church.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 19 December 2002.


Field Visit (1982 - 1988)

The Manpower Services Commission funded Border Burghs Archaeology project (sponsored by Borders Architects Group) carried out excavations in the burghs of the region, created the Sites and Monuments Record for Borders Region and carried out field survey in support, including plane table surveys of selected sites under the direction of Dr Piers Dixon.

Sbc Note

Visibility: This site has been excavated.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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