Ancient Monuments

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Moorfoot Chapel,monastic grange and chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Midlothian South, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.7582 / 55°45'29"N

Longitude: -3.1189 / 3°7'8"W

OS Eastings: 329879

OS Northings: 652220

OS Grid: NT298522

Mapcode National: GBR 61NV.KN

Mapcode Global: WH6TM.2J2J

Entry Name: Moorfoot Chapel,monastic grange and chapel

Scheduled Date: 9 May 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5976

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: monastic settlement

Location: Temple

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument consists of the remains of a monastic grange, probably run by the Cistercians, which is likely to date from the 13th century. One of the buildings may have been a small chapel.

King David I (r.1124-56) granted "Morthuweit" (Moorfoot) to the monks of Newbattle Abbey and there are references to the "Grange of Morthweth" in the "Registrum de Newbotle". The monument is situated by Moorfoot farm, 700m S of Gladhouse Reservoir. It survives as a complex of turf covered footings, which represent the agricultural and domestic buildings, laid out around a courtyard about 30m square. The only upstanding fragments are situated in the SE part of the courtyard: two opposed portions of random rubble masonry which presumably formed the side walls of a rectangular building, perhaps the remnants of a chapel. The River South Esk's course has altered, eroding the E wall of the courtyard and exposing masonry courses. On the S side of the courtyard are three rooms. The yard is crossed by an E-W enclosure wall. To the N of the courtyard are the footings of three more buildings. To the N of the complex is a substantial L- shaped earthwork which was probably built to defend the settlement against flooding. To the S of the buildings is an elaborate system of banks for water control, perhaps fish ponds.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 130m WSW-ENE by 355m NNW-SSE, to include the monastic grange and possible chapel, the area of possible fish ponds, and an area around these remains where further evidence is likely to survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because few settlements of this early date, type and complexity survive in Scotland. In addition, the monument has the potential to provide evidence, through excavation, which may yield more information about ecclesiastical architecture and about the social organisation, domestic architecture, agricultural land-use and economy of a small monastic community.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 25 SE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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