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Kirkton,old parish church 400m ESE of Kirkton Mains,Bathgate

A Scheduled Monument in Bathgate, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8959 / 55°53'45"N

Longitude: -3.6167 / 3°37'0"W

OS Eastings: 298998

OS Northings: 668158

OS Grid: NS989681

Mapcode National: GBR 3058.SB

Mapcode Global: WH5RN.D2ZF

Entry Name: Kirkton,old parish church 400m ESE of Kirkton Mains,Bathgate

Scheduled Date: 26 April 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5671

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church; Secular: mausoleum

Location: Bathgate

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Bathgate

Traditional County: West Lothian

Description

The monument consists of the remains of Bathgate Old Parish Church. The structure, situated in an old graveyard was granted to Holyrood Abbey by Malcolm IV (1153-65); it then passed to Newbattle Abbey, the gift being confirmed in 1372. It was abandoned in 1739.

The church is a narrow, oblong building measuring 30.1m E-W by 7.9m N-S over walls 0.8m thick. The masonry is mainly rubble but this is intermingled with ashlar suggesting the existence of a much earlier building on the site. The W gable remains intact though fissured (c.6m high) and is intaken on both faces at wallhead level. A small lintelled window lights the W gable. The E gable has been partly

rebuilt and rounded off during consolidation, probably in 1846.

The lower part of a central buttress has been retained in the E gable and above it carved fragments have been incorporated in the wall: part of a quatrefoil and a grave tablet with a book and a pair of crossed bones. The intervening wallheads have also been neatened. The

entrance is in the N wall through the remains of a late transitional doorway (c.1200). On either side of the doorway were nook-shafts but these have vanished.

The remaining somewhat weathered capitals have waterleaf carving and square abaci. A transitional window, splayed

and checked externally pierces the E part of the N wall. The remains of a round-headed and chamfered priest's door can be seen in the S wall. This door has been bisected by the insertion of a 19th-century upright tomb. Also included in the scheduling is the 13th-century recumbent effigy of an ecclesiastic which lies under the NE window (dug up in the interior in 1852). A decorated 16th- century tombstone which has been cracked has been fixed into the S wall.

Lying against the E buttress is part of a medieval tombstone showing a crudely incised cross with bulbous ends. The area to be scheduled is rectangular, extending 2m from the exterior walls of the church, measuring a maximum of 34.1m E-W by 11.9m N-S as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is a good example of a medieval parish church which provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation and analysis, for ecclesiastical architecture, sculpture and the evolution of the parish system in medieval Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NS 96 NE 9.

Reference:

MacGibbon D and Ross T 1896-7, The ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland from the earliest Christian times to the seventeenth century, 3v, Vol. 1, 474-7.

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, Edinburgh, No. 290.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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