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Hume, Old Parish Church

Burial Vault (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Hume, Old Parish Church

Classification Burial Vault (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) St Nicholas Church

Canmore ID 58559

Site Number NT74SW 2

NGR NT 70010 40844

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

The site of Hume Parish Church, which was founded in the mid-twelfth century, lies approximately 800m south-west of Hume Castle. Although the churchyard is still in use, the church and an associated burial aisle are both ruinous, the church having fallen out of use after Hume parish amalgamated with Stichill parish in 1640. It was then destroyed around 1653 by Cromwell's troops.

All that remains today are overgrown stone footings and the remains of a burial vault known as the Earl's Aisle. Reserved for the Earls of Home, this structure was originally part of the chancel. Much of it was removed in 1992 and today all that can be seen is an iron railing and some overgrown pieces of walling.

Dedicated to St Nicholas, Hume Parish Church was gifted to the monks of Kelso by Gospatrick, 3rd Earl of Dunbar. It is possible that this mid-twelfth century church was itself constructed on the site of an earlier building, as an ecclesiastical bell found nearby was thought to date from between 600 and 900 AD (NT74SW 36).

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

Archaeology Notes

NT74SW 2.00 70010 40844

NT74SW 2.01 NT 700 407 Cross

NT74SW 36 NT 70 40 Bell

(NT 7000 4082) Hume Church (NR) (Site of)

OS 6"map, Roxburghshire, 2nd ed.,(1909).

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB), describing the 'Earl's Aisle', notes that it was originally a small unroofed enclosure; this was taken down and the present roofed building erected. (It could be that the lower courses of the present building belong to the earlier enclosure, and not to the church, as suggested by OS field surveyor {JFC}.

Name Book 1858.

Hume Church was dedicated to St Nicholas, and during the reign of Malcolm IV (1153-65), Earl Cospatrick gave it to the monks of Kelso. There is nothing known of the old church building; only the foundations in the shape of irregular mounds can be traced in the old burial ground. The only remnant still in existence is an ancient Celtic ecclesiastical bell, now in Kelso Museum.

J Robson 1896; J Ferguson 1892.

The remains are represented by the turf-covered lower courses of a rectangular building, 7.8m by 27.5m externally, average height 0.5m. At the E end the ground slopes, so that the wall rises to 1.2m above ground level.

The S wall of the burial vault, the 'Earl's Aisle', is built on the line of the N wall of the church; the lower courses of the vault wall are of different type and size of masonry from the remainder, and may be part of the church wall in situ.

There is now no museum at Kelso, and the present location of the bell is unknown.

Visited by OS(JFC) 24 January 1955.

The nave of the church now forms part of the burial ground and appears to have done so from at least the 18th century, for the earliest legible dated gravestone within the outline of the building is '1723'. Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS(RDL) 23 August 1963.

Generally as described in the previous field reports, the remains are known locally as Hume Church.

Visited by OS(RD) 20 July 1966.

(NT 7000 4082) St Nicholas' Ch (NR) (rems of)

OS 6"map, (1971).

Only the turf-covered footings of this church remain. It served as the parish church of Hume until the parish was united with Stichill in 1640.

RCAHMS 1980; I B Cowan 1967.


Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding earthwork or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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