Ancient Monuments

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Southdean Church

A Scheduled Monument in Hawick and Denholm, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.3751 / 55°22'30"N

Longitude: -2.5832 / 2°34'59"W

OS Eastings: 363141

OS Northings: 609162

OS Grid: NT631091

Mapcode National: GBR B6D9.K0

Mapcode Global: WH8Z2.9557

Entry Name: Southdean Church

Scheduled Date: 10 March 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7034

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Southdean

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Denholm

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises the remains of a medieval church and its kirkyard, situated at the roadside some 50m NW of Southdean. The church is associated with the Battle of Otterburn in 1388; the leaders of the Scottish army are said to have met at the church on the eve of the battle.

The monument comprises the foundations of a church and the fragmentary outline of an earlier structure 1.5m outside the N wall of the nave. The later building consists of a chancel, nave and a W tower. The E side of the tower is about 1.8m high but its outer sides had been reduced to the lowest courses. The nave walls stand approximately 0.7m-0.9m high but those of the chancel stand just to the base courses.

The tower and nave are generally believed to date from the 13th century and are constructed of rubble masonry, roughly squared and built to courses. The tower has a splayed base course and was entered directly from the nave. Towards the W end of the nave are two doors, one through the S wall and a smaller one through the N wall. The chancel walls are faced with ashlar and have two angle buttresses at the E end, with a splayed base course (now fragmentary) carried round the whole exterior. The chancel is evidently later than the nave and tower, probably dating to the 15th century.

The roof of the church collapsed in 1688 and the site became a grassed-over mound. In 1910 the site was excavated by Hawick Archaeological Society. During the excavation numerous pieces of carved stone were discovered including a late medieval super-altar and a font, both of which are now used in the modern parish church. Other carved stones lie in the reconstructed tower of the church.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the church, the kirkyard and its associated funerary monuments. The area is four-sided, with maximum dimensions of 40m NW to SE and 40m NE to SW as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of a 13th century parish church, which may overlie an even earlier site, and that was later altered in the 15th century. Its archaeology has the potential to greatly contribute to an understanding of medieval art, architecture, religious practices and material culture. The site's importance is accentuated by its association with the Battle of Otterburn.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 60 NW 10.


Eeles, F. C. (1911 a) 'Southdean Church, Roxburghshire: some account of the excavations carried out there by the Otterburn Memorial Committee', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 45, 1910-11, 551-69.

RCAHMS (1956) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. An inventory of the ancient and historical monuments of Roxburghshire: with the fourteenth report of the Commission, 2v, Edinburgh, 419-20, No. 928.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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