Ancient Monuments

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St Andrew's Kirk, Kirk Ports, North Berwick

A Scheduled Monument in North Berwick Coastal, East Lothian

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Latitude: 56.0577 / 56°3'27"N

Longitude: -2.7185 / 2°43'6"W

OS Eastings: 355352

OS Northings: 685213

OS Grid: NT553852

Mapcode National: GBR 2V.Q76C

Mapcode Global: WH7TD.6ZQZ

Entry Name: St Andrew's Kirk, Kirk Ports, North Berwick

Scheduled Date: 28 October 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10351

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: North Berwick

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: North Berwick Coastal

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises the remains of a rectangular roofless church of 17th-century date, with a late 18th-century tower, visible as an upstanding ruin, together with its graveyard. The monument lies at the junction of Law Road and Kirk Ports, North Berwick.

The building of this St Andrew's Kirk commenced in 1659 to replace the original 12th-century St Andrew's Kirk by the harbour, which was in ruins by 1656 (its E end had been washed away). The new kirk was built of stone from the old kirk and from the Law quarry. The design of the new kirk, which was completed by 1664, reflected the post-Reformation doctrine of the 'Priesthood of all Believers'. Initially it comprised a plain rectangular structure with the pulpit in the centre of the long side; this may have been a double pulpit for the minister and the precentor. Box-pews were erected for the heritors (the Burgh and proprietors of land within the parish), who were collectively responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the fabric of the kirk. A sundial bearing the date 1680 was added.

Later, the kirk was extended and extensively altered, this phase of works being completed by 1770. In its final form the kirk possessed four lofts, one at either end and a loft for each of the two major landed proprietors, the holders of the Barony of North Berwick (the Dalrymple family from 1694) and the Sutties (later the Grant-Sutties) of Balgone. Also added were porches for access stairways to the lofts and galleries, a session house and a central western tower. The tower was three storeys high and crowned with a bell-cast slated roof. Further alterations were carried out in 1819 when the interior (with the exception of the old seat of the Dalrymple family) was renewed. By now the kirk could accommodate some 500 people.

The graveyard was in use from 1664, although burials also continued in the old graveyard on Anchor Green, North Berwick. Amongst a number of significant graveslabs and memorials is a recumbent slab placed in the graveyard in 1821 to commemorate John Blackadder, the covenanting minister, who died in 1685 while imprisoned on the Bass Rock for his religious and political beliefs.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the kirk and its graveyard, within which related material may be expected to survive. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 118m E-W by 72m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area is delimited by the rubble boundary wall of the graveyard, the upstanding parts of which are excluded from the scheduling to allow for routine maintenance. The scheduling also excludes any burial lairs for which burial rights still exist.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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