NT8541 : The ruined remains of Lennel Parish Church

taken 1 year ago, near to Lennel, Scottish Borders, Great Britain

The ruined remains of Lennel Parish Church
The ruined remains of Lennel Parish Church
The church of Leinhah (Lennel) was in existence in the early 12th century and was the parish church for the village which stood to the east. The church was dedicated to St Mary by David de Bernham, Bishop of St Andrews on 31st March 1243. During the 12th century the rights to the lands of Lennel church were shared equally between Coldingham and Coldstream Priories. By the early 13th century the rights were granted solely to the Convent of St Mary at Coldstream.

In 1704 the church elders decided that Lennel church was in too ruinous a state to accommodate the congregation, many of whom had by now migrated to neighbouring Coldstream, where a new church was completed in 1705. However, the Earl of Haddington of Lennel, Lady Grissel Ker of Moristoun and others opposed this move, and the new building did not officially become the parish church until 1718.

Although today only the west gable stands to its original height, the church and its graveyard contain some interesting relics from the early 19th century when "resurrectionists" or body snatchers ran an illicit trade in corpses for Edinburgh surgeons. A shed built inside the west end of the nave was built in 1821 as a mort-house where corpses awaiting burial would be guarded by watchmen. Two iron mort-safes can be seen in the ground just to the north of the main body of the church. With a weight of about one ton these would have been an effective deterrent to would-be grave robbers.

Restoration works to remove ivy and upgrade the inside of the building were carried out between April 2015 and August 2017.

(Source: information board on site)

For a view of the west gable wall when it was covered in ivy, see NT8541 : Lennel Church.
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NT8541, 22 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 9 December, 2017   (more nearby)
Monday, 25 December, 2017
Geographical Context
Religious sites  Derelict, Disused 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 8573 4117 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:39.8299N 2:13.7037W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 8573 4117
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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