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Old Cambus, St Helen's Church

Church (Medieval)

Site Name Old Cambus, St Helen's Church

Classification Church (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Old Parish Church; St Helen's Kirk; St Helen's On The Lea; St Helena's Chapel

Canmore ID 59948

Site Number NT87SW 1

NGR NT 80378 70676

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/59948

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

St Helen’s Church 1, Old Cambus, Berwickshire, cross-slab

Measurements:

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NT 80377067

Present location:

Evidence for discovery: recorded in the nave in 1908. Not seen in 2015, but site deep in vegetation.

Present condition:

Description:

Incised on one broad face of an undressed slab is a cross-of-arcs with traces of a square frame.

Date: eighth or ninth century.

Desk-base information compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

St Helen’s Church 2, Old Cambus, Berwickshire, hogback gravestone

Measurements: L 1.50m, H 0.28m, W 0.32m-0.37m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NT 80377067

Present location:

Evidence for discovery: seen in churchyard in 1908. Recorded by Lang in early 1970s in churchyard near east gable of church. Not seen in 2015 but site deep in vegetation.

Present condition: very worn and the west end is damaged.

Description:

This hogback belongs to Lang’s Illustrative type. It has a flat ridge and a basal vertical plinth. Side A is divided into three panels, each carved in relief with a quadruped, two separated by a stylised tree. Side B is carved with three rows of tegulae.

Date: eleventh century.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2016

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

St Helen’s Church 3, Old Cambus, Berwickshire, hogback gravestone

Measurements: L 0.64m, H 0.23m-0.27m, W 0.41m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NT 80377067

Present location:

Evidence for discovery: seen in churchyard in 1908. Recorded by Lang in early 1970s outside the south wall of the chancel. Not seen in 2015 but site deep in vegetation.

Present condition: worn and damaged.

Description:

This hogback belongs to Lang’s Illustrative type. It has a flat ridge and a basal vertical plinth. Side A is carved in relief with a quadruped. Side B is carved with four rows of tegulae.

Date: eleventh century.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

NT87SW 1.00 80378 70676

(NT 80378 70676) St Helen's Church (NR) (remains of)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976).

NT87SW 1.01 80368 70654 Churchyard (Hogback Stones)

The surviving remains of this 12th century church show that it was extensively rebuilt in the late 14th or 15th century. It consisted of a nave and chancel as shown on D MacGibbon and T Ross plan (qv), both were originally roofed with a barrel-vault, of which only a few indications now remain. The E and S walls of the chancel have been almost completely removed, but the N wall still stands 8 to 10ft high. Parts of the N

and S walls of the nave remain to a considerable height. At the W end of the N and S walls there is a rough opening which may indicate the position of two entrance doorways. The upper part of the N wall is said to have been rebuilt; the W gable was also rebuilt, and is in a better state of repair, consisting of a plain wall with a buttress at each angle.

This church, which was dedicated to St Helen, was the church of the former parish of Aldcambus and probably fell into ruin when that parish was united with the parish of Cockburnspath before 1750.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896; A Reid 1914; T S Muir 1862; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1979; A A Carr 1836; I B Cowan 1967.

The fragmentary remains now comprise the W wall, which is almost intact, and portions of the N and S walls.

Visited by OS (JLD) 28 October 1954.

No change.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 21 December 1965.

St Helens Church. The original 12th century church was extensively rebuilt in the late 14th or 15th century. It probably went into disuse when the parish of Aldcambus was united with Cockburnspath before 1750. The remains were described in 1954 as being fragmentary, comprising the W wall and portions of the N and S walls. The church is as described. The church is in an exposed location but well away from the sea and so is not affected immediately by coastal erosion.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 25th February 1996.

Architecture Notes

NMRS REFERENCE:

NMRS - J. Drummond SAS 386 p.25 & 116

Activities

Project

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council

References

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