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Cranstoun Old Parish Church And Churchyard
- HER number: MEL8268
- Site Name: Cranstoun Old Parish Church And Churchyard
- Grid Reference: 338740 665608
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: 18th century church, resited late 19th-20th century, graveyard and 12th century cross-slab
- Description: NT36NE 11 38741 65609 (NT 3874 6557 to NT 3875 6558)
(NT 3874 6557) Church (NR) (site of)
OS 6" map (1967)
For Oxenfoord Castle see, NT36NE 62.00 38816 65507.
Cranston parish church was built in 1788 on the site of the former church which was destroyed by fire. It was removed by the Earl of Stair about 1825, when the present church was erected nearby.
The original church was granted to Kelso by Hugh Riddell, the grant being confirmed by William the Lion (1165 x 78). It was later (1188 x 1200) given to St Andrews.
No trace of the church remains, but in the church-yard is a 12th c cross-slab (A Reid 1909), fractured, measuring 5'5" in length, 18" broad at the head, 10 1/2" at the foot and 9" thick. It is sculptured with a cross with two transverse limbs, semicircular in section and cable moulded. Reid also notes and illustrates a font, recovered from a midden; it measures 1'4" square by 1'2 1/2" high, with a basin 10 1/2" in diameter and 10" deep.
Name Book 1852; I B Cowan 1967; RCAHMS 1929
There are no remains of this church and no trace of the 12th c cross-slab. The font, which is as described, is at NT 3875 6558.
Visited by OS (BS) 23 October 1975.
NMRS REPORT DATE: 03/11/2004 Historic Scotland Listed Building Ref: 1188/17/-
Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: 18th century, with late 18th century gatepiers and gates re-sited late 19th / early 20th century. Burial ground with contemporary and later tombstones bounded to N and E by later wall. Coursed and random rubble walls with dressed ashlar gatepiers and droved ashlar quoins. Pair of wrought-iron gates. Many tombstones of differing dates and styles.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION, GATEPIERS AND GATES: later high coursed rubble wall running W to E. Pair of tall square ashlar gatepiers to centre with tabbed quoins, plinthed bases, central pilaster details to main elevation and corniced caps supporting large classically decorated urns. Pair of decorative wrought-iron arch-topped pedestrian gates: 5 rows of oviform motifs with scrolled in-fill and arrowhead dividers; scrolled overthrow supporting oviform containing S (for the House of Stair) with a coronet surmounting, a central vertical arrow pierces the overthrow.
E ELEVATION: partial dry stone wall following line of hillock.
MONUMENTS: many shaped and carved tomb and tablestone memorials, including: round top stone with shoulders for John Hunter (died 1790) and his wife Alison Waddell (died 1804); a pair of Celtic crosses, one for Major General W.V. Brownlow; a rusticated stone cross with brass plaques and a plainer cross; smaller early stones now unreadable; a round top stone dedicated to the memory of George Ogilvie, son of George Ogilvie Esq of Prestonhall; a monumental stone cairn dedicated to (amongst others) Susan, Lady Menzies; a modern marble stone to Jean Rankin, daughter of the 12th Earl of Stair and towards the back of the plot some fallen aged stones carved with borders and winged sculls.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Notes: This is the site of the original Cranstoun Church, which served the now lost village of Cranstoun. In 1791, Cranstoun had a population of 187. It stood on the left bank of the Tyne Water, a short distance north of the "iron bridge" and near the old mansion house of Chesterhall. The exact site is included in an area of Oxenfoord Castle's policies known as the Cow Park. The original church (sited adjacent to the walled kitchen garden of the castle and Lady Marjorie's Garden) was a plain building with no architectural adornments inside or outside. It had galleries to the front and on the right and left of the pulpit. A fire (caused by an overheated stove) destroyed it sometime between 1780 and 1791. The remains were pulled down, but some say part of the vestry was latterly used as an implement shed by the gardener. A new church was erected by the heritors in 1798 and was similar in design to its predecessors. The seats in the galleries were allocated to the heritors and their dependants. The other parishioners used the main body of the church. In 1812, John Hamilton Dalrymple (the 5th Baronet of Cousland and 8th Earl of Stair) applied to and obtained, from the Lords of the Court of Session, permission to change the site of the parish church (listed separately) to where it is today. The manse, sited near Prestonhall, was also moved. The churchyard remained as a family burial ground for the Dalrymples and the House of Stair. It also contains many aged carved tombstones relating to the former parishioners of Cranstoun and a memorial to the head teachers of the school that was housed in the castle. Also buried here are the Macgills who formerly owned the lands of Cranstoun-Riddel. The gatepiers to the burial ground were formerly the entrance gates to Cranstoun House or Castle, which used to be the residence of the Dalrymples of Cousland. They remained for many years beside the "Blue House" which was originally the lodge to Cranstoun Castle. When it was demolished, the gates and piers were re-sited by the 10th Earl of Stair as a formal entrance to the burial ground and overlooking Lady Marjorie's flower and rose garden. There was also a sundial in the burial ground (the later stone shaft is still in situ) and a stone font from the church still survives.
Historic Scotland Listed Building References: J. Bleau, LOTHIAN AND LINLITHQVO (1654) and John Adair, A MAP OF THE LOTHIANS (1735) for older village. Andrew and Mostyn Armstrong, MAP OF THE 3 LOTHIANS (1773) for Oxford Hall. William Johnston, GELLATLY'S NEW MAP OF THE 12 MILES ROUND EDINBURGH (1834) for Oxenfoord Castle. 1st and 2nd Edition ORDNANCE SURVEY MAPS showing improved estate and now disused church site. Hon Hew Dalrymple, AN ACCOUNT OF OXENFOORD CASTLE (1901). Rev J Dickson, CRANSTOUN: A PARISH HISTORY (1907) pp 132-136. J Thomas, MIDLOTHIAN (1995) pp 105-106.
- For more information contact: MidLothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Bibliographic reference: Cowan, I B. 1967. The parishes of medieval Scotland, Scot Rec Soc Vol. 93. 38.
- 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. 43, No.51; 44, No????
- Bibliographic reference: Name Book (County). Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey. Book No.39, 38.
- Bibliographic reference: Reid, A. 1909c. 'Churchyard memorials of Cranston, Blairgowrie and Rattray; a record and comparison', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 43 1908-9, p.206-40. 206-14.