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Dumgree Church and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.2561 / 55°15'21"N

Longitude: -3.4783 / 3°28'41"W

OS Eastings: 306137

OS Northings: 596763

OS Grid: NY061967

Mapcode National: GBR 474N.RN

Mapcode Global: WH5VT.J4WY

Entry Name: Dumgree Church and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 29 May 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10432

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Kirkpatrick-Juxta

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of Dumgree Church and its burial ground. The church is medieval in date, and visible today as turf-covered footings. The monument is situated on the SSE flank of Park Hill, overlooking the Kinnel Water, at about 225m OD.

The church of Dumgree, also recorded as Dungreioch, was first documented in about 1180 when it was granted to the monks of Kelso by Walter de Carnato. The lands were confirmed by Walter, Bishop of Glasgow, and were retained by Kelso Abbey until the Reformation.

Thereafter the Dumgree estate was annexed; its extent was not clearly specified until 1605 when the estate was confirmed to Charteris of Amisfield. The Johnstones were tenants in Dumgree from at least 1472 and may have been responsible for Boreland Tower, 1km to the SSE. 'Bordland' is indicative of an earlier site, perhaps a demense farm and bailiff's residence.

Dumgree Church may therefore have been a twelfth-century foundation for existing tenants on an outlying estate, given its unusual location on previously cultivated ground. The cultivation terraces survive and seem to pre-date the graveyard in which the church sits. However, the date of the graveyard boundary is not known and it is possible that the church did not have a burial ground from the outset. A rectangular platform, possibly for a building, survives to the N of the church.

The surviving church building is rectangular in plan, measuring 12m E-W by 6m N-S, but it may have been rebuilt during its history. Few pre-Reformation churches survive in eastern Dumfriesshire and Dumgree is one of the smaller examples, of which even fewer survive.

The bank of the graveyard is probably relatively late in date and steps down across the terraces on the SW. The E boundary is curvilinear, but it has been extended to the W along the edge of a trackway. Within the burial ground some of the low headstones are set into the terraces; there are also a number of recumbent slabs, eighteenth-century gravestones and a table-tomb. A spread of stones to the S of the church may be the remains of a burial enclosure. Two nineteenth-century iron gateposts survive midway along the W boundary, one of which is still upstanding.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be found. It is irregular with maximum dimensions of 75m N-S and 83m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded from the scheduling is the top 300mm of the track at the west side of the monument to allow for its maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of medieval ecclesiastical architecture. It is a rare survival of a Pre-Reformation parish church of lesser standing. It also preserves an earlier landscape in the form of cultivation terraces, which do not survive beyond the burial ground. Its importance is increased by its high archaeological potential given its early abandonment, which is further enhanced by the documentary sources available.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as Dumgree Church, NY09NE 4.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS (1986) A 28141, A 28140, A 28142 & A 28143.

References:

Chalmers G (1887-94) CALEDONIA: OR A HISTORICAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF NORTH BRITAIN, 7v & index, Paisley, Vol. 5, 179-180.

Cowan I B (1967) ?The parishes of medieval Scotland?, SCOT REC SOC, No. 93, Edinburgh, 52.

Groome F H ed. (1901) ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND: A SURVEY OF SCOTTISH TOPOGRAPHY, STATISTICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL, AND HISTORICAL, 2nd ed, Edinburgh, Vol. 1, 401.

NSA (1845) THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND BY THE MINISTERS OF THE RESPECTIVE PARISHES UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF A COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE CLERGY, 15v, Edinburgh, Vol. 4, 133-134.

RCAHMS (1997) EASTERN DUMFRIESSHIRE: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE, Edinburgh: HMSO, 41, 71, 246, 249-250 & 321, No. 1732.

Scott H et al eds. (1915-61) FASTI ECCLESIAE SCOTICANAE: THE SUCCESSION OF MINISTERS IN THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND FROM THE REFORMATION, Edinburgh, Vol. 2, 210 & 299.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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