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Aberlady, St Mary's Chapel / Aberlady Parish Burial-ground
- HER number: MEL443
- Site Name: Aberlady, St Mary's Chapel / Aberlady Parish Burial-ground
- Grid Reference: 346139 679879
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: Graveyard and remains of chapel
- Description: NT47NE 1 4614 7988
See also NT47NE 17.
(NT 4614 7988) St Mary's Chapel (NR) (site of)
OS 6" map (1968)
(1)-(5) There was a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary within the cemetery of Aberlady parish church. It was situated in the NW corner of the cemetery; about 1927, when the churchyard was being extended, several stone coffins were found, some 30yds from the chapel site. The only one seen by Caldwell was buried about 10' down, and was of solid stone, without a cover, chiselled to the shape of a body and the head. It was oriented E-W (information from T Caldwell, Aberlady, to A S Henshall, NMAS, 14 December 1956).
A sandstone cross-slab fragment, measuring approximately 2' by 7 1/2" by 7", was found in 1863 built into the wall of the manse garden, which is in close proximity to the chapel site. Clapham states it is of a purely Anglian type, dateable to the 7th century and should, in all historical probability, date to the short period of the Anglian see of Abercorn (681-5). This slab was removed to Carlowrie Castle (NT 142 744), where it remained until 1966, when it was donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland [NMAS].
RCAHMS 1924, visited 1914; 1929, visited 1926; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; A W Clapham 1930; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1968
(6) There are no surface remains of St Mary's Chapel, but the foundations are encountered from time to time during grave digging in the enclosure, at NT 4614 7988, in the NW corner of the old churchyard.
Visited by OS (RDL) 25 October 1962
(7) The cross-slab, as described, is now on display in Aberlady Parish Church.
Visited by OS (SFS) 9 July 1975
(8) The cross fragment noted by OS (SFS) is a replica. The original dates from the 8th century.
C McWilliam 1978
(10)-(11) The early origins of Aberlady and links to Early Christian centres at Iona and Lindisfarne are explored in these articles by Ian Malcolm (see attached).
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Article in serial: Malcolm, I. ABERLADY A Flat Place or a Holy Dedication?.
- (1) Bibliographic reference: RCAHMS. 1924. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Eighth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of East Lothian. 2, No.2.
- (10) Article in serial: Malcolm, I. 2007. The Village - Aberlady.
- (2) Bibliographic reference: RCAHMS. 1929. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Tenth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. 213, No.350.
- (3) Bibliographic reference: Allen and Anderson, J R and J. 1903. The early Christian monuments of Scotland: a classified illustrated descriptive list of the monuments with an analysis of their symbolism and ornamentation. 428-9.
- (4) Bibliographic reference: Clapham, A W. 1930. English Romanesque architecture before the Conquest. 64.
- (5) Bibliographic reference: PSAS. 1968. 'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 99 1966-7, p.265-73. 266, no.27.
- (8) Bibliographic reference: McWilliam, C E. 1978a. Lothian except Edinburgh. 34, 73.
- (9) Article in serial: Graham, A. 1960-61. 'Graveyard Monuments in East Lothian', PSAS 1960-61, p. 211-271. 224-226.