"Edrom Church"

 


Edrom Church

 

Edrom Church can trace its history back to the early twelfth century, the exact date is unknown but it is recorded that the Church and lands were gifted by Gospatrick, Earl of Dunbar to the monks of Coldingham in 1130. A claim that the Church was founded by Thor Longus in 1105 is now regarded as being in error. 

The gifting of the Church with its four subordinate chapels, of Kimmerghame, Blackadder, Allanbank and Erciltoune (Earlston) was confirmed by David 1 in 1139.

From the earliest time miracles seem to have been associated with the Church, believed to be due to the intercession of the Virgin Mary and on account of this many flocked to the Church seeking heeling and divine intervention.

In 1332 it is recorded that the chancel was "thatched with straw and wood coming from Berwick, the wood having been unloaded from an Estland ship"

In 1499 Robert Blackadder, the future Bishop of Glasgow and who was responsible for negotiating the marriage between James 1V of Scotland and Margaret Tudor of England  (sister of Henry V111) - the marriage of the thistle and the rose which was to bring about the eventual union of the two kingdoms -, built what was effectively the south aisle of the Church but which is now the Blackadder Burial Aisle. This is the only part of the original Church still surviving. In the vault, which can be accessed, there is in the north east corner a sarcophagus showing two figures, a knight clad in full armour lying beside his lady. These are believed to be Patrick Home of Broomhouse and his wife Elenwe Wardrop of Yester. The date 1553 has been inscribed but this may have been done some time later. 

By 1727 while part of the roof was by now covered with stone flags nevertheless the Church was in serious disrepair and required to be more or less completely rebuilt. However the roof was again thatched and the stone flags became part of the floor

While this work was being carried out the original Norman Church doorway was moved and re-employed as the door to a burial vault of the Logans of Edrom. The vault is now in the charge of Historic Scotland and there are information plaques on site.


Logan Burial Aisle c. 1950

In 1797 the Rev. John Hastie on his induction as minister recounts in his Diary (published and available to purchase through the Society) the near derelict condition of the Manse and records repairs and improvements costing 262.6/-.

One hundred years after the Church had rebuilt it was still nevertheless described as "Insufficient and unwholesome, with a deficiency in accommodation and in a dangerous state". However it was over fifty years later in 1886 before it was renovated and enlarged, an open timber scissor roof constructed and an organ installed.

In the 1970s further alterations were carried out principally the erection of a screen cutting off the Blackadder Aisle from the rest of the Church, access to the Blackadder Aisle now being from a door in the south wall.

In the graveyard there is what was a hearse house dating from the early 19th. century and interestingly the wall running along side the entrance pathway would appear to have been built from old gravestones although no inscriptions can now be discerned. The churchyard was subject to defilement by the resurrectionists

The graveyard which has recently been transcribed by Borders Family History Society contains a number of very interesting old stones. Buried in the graveyard are the parents of Robert Fortune. The inscription now becoming very eroded but still more or less legible reads;

Sacred to the memory of THOMAS FORTUNE who died 16.3.1847 aged 61 years at Kelloe where he had been employed as a hedger thirty four years. The zealous promoter in its sphere of life of every good work and serving God with a single eye he lived greatly respected and died in much peace deeply lamented though him death was assumed ...... Sacred to the memory of CHRISTIAN and ELIZABETH FORTUNE who died young interred here also AGNES REDPATH his wife who died at Ayton 25.11.1858 aged 74 years.

For a detail of the surviving Session Records and other sources of information on the Parish see