The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available!
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available! 

Coldingham Priory

Borders: In Coldingham village, on minor road just east of B6438 north of junction with A1107, to east of village, at Coldingham Priory.

 

Private   NT 904659   OS: 67   TD14 5NG

 

OPEN: View from exterior.

Priory Church: www.coldinghamparish.co.uk

Friends of Coldingham Priory: www.friendsofcoldinghampriory.co.uk

St Ebba (Abb) is said to have established a monastery at St Abb’s Head in the 7th century, but this was destroyed by Norsemen. The priory was refounded, possibly in the 12th century, at Coldingham, and was dedicated to St Mary, St Ebba and St Cuthbert. Although only a priory, the establishment went on to hold much property and became very wealthy. The site is marked prominently on Blaeu’s map of Berwickshire.

Coldingham Priory was a rich monastic establishment but all the survives is the impressive choir of the former priory standing in a scenic location in the interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the picturesque village of Coldingham in Berwickshi Coldingham Priory (© Martin Coventry)
Coldingham Priory was a rich monastic establishment but all the survives is the impressive choir of the former priory standing in a scenic location in the interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the picturesque village of Coldingham in Berwickshi Coldingham Priory (© Martin Coventry)

The choir is a substantial rectangular building with a fine interior, now used as the parish church. The nave was a massive building with aisles and filled much of what is now the graveyard but is mostly gone, and there was a large tower, rising to 90 foot over the crossing. Some of the domestic buildings are very ruinous but have been cleared and landscaped, and carved fragments and gravstones are on display as well as a transept arch.

Inside of Coldingham Priory, now used as the parish church, in the interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the scenic village of Coldingham Coldingham Priory: interior of church (old postcard)
Coldingham Priory was a rich monastic establishment but all the survives is the impressive choir of the former priory standing in a scenic location in the interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the picturesque village of Coldingham in Berwickshi Coldingham Priory (© Martin Coventry)

The priory was sacked in 1216, 1419 and 1542 by the English, besieged by the Scots in 1544, then attacked again by the English. Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed here in 1566. An ‘abbey place’ is mentioned in 1621, presumably a residence in the priory, but much of the building was destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in 1648 (or 1650) after a two-day siege with cannon.

Transept arch of Coldingham Priory, now used as the parish church, in the interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the scenic village of Coldingham Coldingham Priory: transept arch (© Martin Coventry)

The lands of the priory had gone to the Homes after the Reformation, then to the Stewarts, then later to the Homes again, while the choir of the priory was (and is) used as the parish church (Priory Church).

Coldingham Priory was a rich monastic establishment but all the survives is the impressive choir of the former priory standing in a scenic location in the interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the picturesque village of Coldingham in Berwickshi Coldingham Priory (© Martin Coventry)
Engraving of Coldingham Priory, showing the then ruin with a tower now gone. The church is an interesting graveyard with many old memorials in the peaceful village of Coldingham Coldingham Priory: before later bell tower collapsed (Grose)

The grand tower collapsed in 1770, apparently revealing the cadaver of a lady who had been sealed up in the walls, and the remains of the church were renovated in the 1850s and 1950s. There are many interesting memorials in the extensive graeyard and pleasant walks aorund the scenic village.

GOBLINSHEAD ONLINE SHOP

(coming soon…)

Contact

Goblinshead

Cockenzie House
22 Edinburgh Road
Cockenzie

EH32 0HY

 

Email: info@thecastlesofscotland.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Martin Coventry