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Polwarth Church

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (18th Century), Font (Medieval), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Polwarth Church

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (18th Century), Font (Medieval), War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Polwarth Kirk; War Memorial Roll Of Honour

Canmore ID 58498

Site Number NT74NW 19

NGR NT 74995 49492

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Polwarth
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Berwickshire
  • Former County Berwickshire

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Polwarth Parish Church was built in 1703, on the site of an earlier church. It is surrounded by an oval-shaped burial-ground, which contains gravestones dating from the seventeenth century.

A Latin inscription on the south wall of the church records that a church was first built on this site in the year 900, although the first known reference to a church here is a re-dedication to St Mungo in 1242.

The 1703 building is rectangular on plan with a later square tower to the west and a nineteenth-century north aisle. It is harled, with dressings of smooth red sandstone. It incorporates an earlier burial-vault, used by the Marchmont family.

In 1684, the vault famously served as the hiding-place of Sir Patrick Hume, who had been implicated in the Rye House plot, a conspiracy to assassinate King Charles II of England and his brother James, Duke of York. A crowned finial at the east end of the church is a reference to William of Orange, who restored the Hume's fortunes in 1688.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NT74NW 19.00 74995 47492

NT74NW 19.01 74802 49577 Manse

NT74NW 19.02 74786 49557 Manse, Walled Garden

NT74NW 19.03 74781 49585 Manse, SW Steading Range

NT74NW 19.04 74781 49599 Manse, NW Steading Range

NT74NW 19.05 74793 49600 Manse, E Steading Range

NT74NW 19.06 74801 49687 Manse, Bridge

NT74NW 19.07 74806 49701 Manse, Gate Piers

(NT 74995 47492) Polwarth parish church, dedicated to St Mungo, was built in 1703 on the site of an earlier structure, of which a burial vault is incorporated under the E end. It is T-shaped on plan with a tower at its W end. There is a latin inscription on the S wall stating that the church was consecrated before 900, and restored in 1378. Just inside the churchyard gate, there is a font, 2ft 9ins high and 2ft 4ins in diameter, which may be of the latter date.

G Hay 1957; RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908; R Gibson 1905.

The latin inscription states that the church was consecrated before 900, rebuilt and dedicated to St Mungo in 1242 and again rebuilt in 1378. The Norman font is now in the church, which is still in use.

Visited by OS(RD) 22 July 1970.

There was a church here by the middle of the 13th century, but there is little apparent evidence to support the claim that there was a church here before 900.

RCAHMS 1980, visited 1979.

Architecture Notes



Scottish Record Office -

Polwarth. Inscription for the rebuilt Church.

The church was consecrated before 900, restored in 1378 and rebuilt in 1703

by Patrick, 1st Earl of Marchmont.


[1703] N.D. GD 158/464


Photographic Survey (May 1962)

Photographic survey of the exterior of Polwarth Church, Berwickshire, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1962

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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