12th century Romanesque style nave and chancel church set on knoll; chancel added 1426; church altered 1616, 1774, 1813; porch added 1857; chancel rebuilt and church substantially restored 1911-12, Peter MacGregor Chalmers; repaired 1927, James Pearson Alison. Single storey church comprising rectangular-plan 3-bay nave with projecting gabled porch to S; 17th century birdcage bellcote to W; lower, rectangular-plan 3-bay chancel to E; lean-to vestry (1912) to N. Predominantly squared and tooled sandstone rubble (some plastic repairs to vestry); cream sandstone ashlar dressings. Round-arched openings to nave; chamfered cills. Chamfered reveals to square-headed chancel openings; chamfered cills.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: nave comprising gabled porch projecting at centre with paired colonnettes with cushion capitals flanking square-headed opening; round-arched Norman tympanum with carved scene depicting bearded knight on horseback thrusting lance into jaws of 1 of 2 animals; ball-shaped and dogtooth banding forming round-arched frieze above; inscribed tablet in return to right with pilastered frame and broken scrolled pediment; single round-arched window in return to left. Inscribed tablet with pilastered frame and round-arched pediment off-set to left of centre; paired, round-arched windows with columnar mullions, cushion capitals and dogtooth banding beneath roll-moulded surrounds in bays to outer left and right. Chancel recessed to right with deep-set boarded timber door off-set to right of centre; engaged colonnettes with cushion capitals beneath round-arched, architraved surround; cusped detailing to 4-light, glazing row in bay to left; cusped detailing to single window in bay to outer right.
W (SIDE) ELEVATION: paired round-arched window centred in gable; surmounting birdcage bellcote with ogee cap and finial (bell inscribed ?For Lintoun Kirk John Meikle Me Fecit Edinburgh 1697?, in place). Engaged sundial on corner with S wall; inscribed tablet; metal gnomons in place.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: nave comprising weathered tablet with columnar frame, Corinthian capitals, ball-finials and round-arched pediment off-set to right of centre; blind in remaining bays to left. Blind elevations to chancel and vestry.
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: regularly disposed tablets at ground; 3-light, pointed-arched window centred above; trefoil-headed tracery; hoodmould; cruciform finial surmounting gable. Single window in vestry recessed to outer right.
Latticed leaded glazing to paired nave lights; decorative stained glass to chancel, 1936 (Douglas Strachan?); small skylights. Graded grey slate roofs; raised stone skews; cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: vestibule with stone bench to left; umbrella rack to right; 2-leaf boarded timber door off-set to right of centre with embossed lintel beneath round-arched tympanum. Stone-flagged floor to nave; timber panelled dado; whitewashed walls; various tablets inset. Open timber ceiling; timber pews; decorative light fittings. Carved timber pulpit with trefoil and quatrefoil detailing. Freestone Norman font with scalloped carving to circular bowl; later square-plan base; timber cover. Large round-arched opening dividing nave and chancel with regularly spaced carved motifs set between roll-moulded banding; flanking engaged octagonal columns with carved capitals depicting vine and wheat, chalice and paten. Chancel comprising tiled floor; timber brackets beneath boarded timber, barrel-vaulted ceiling; coursed cream sandstone ashlar walls. Stall to left with 17th century, 4-bay timber screen with fluted pilasters to outer left and right, regularly disposed coats-of-arms set between. Segmental-arched surround to boarded timber door to right; boarded timber vestry door to left with 17th century carved tympanum above; squared and snecked, tooled sandstone walls within. Decorative timber communion table centred on platform raised at rear.
GRAVEYARD: surrounding graveyard with various stones; near square-plan enclosure to NW with Elliot family gravestones set within; architraved coping to low, red sandstone quatrefoil panelled walls; wrought-iron gate.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES AND GATEPOSTS: rubble-coped rubble walls enclosing site in part. Intersecting, pointed-arched, iron hoop-railed gates and tapering, reeded gateposts.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. An interesting church with some good detailing. First records of a church in Linton date back to about 1160. However, such is the extent of its later rebuilding, that little of the original structure is thought to remain (the lower courses of the N, and possibly the E walls being the only examples). The carved tympanum above the door is said to depict the slaying of a dragon (or worm as it was locally known) by William de Sommerville in the later 12th century. Despite its weathered appearance, the panel remains one of the few examples of sculpture in a similar position in Scotland, and is therefore, extremely significant. Under the ministry of Thomas Leishman, who described the church as a "...queer old edifice, long and narrow", a scheme to put the then disused chancel back into use and add a porch was completed around 1858. In 1911-2, under the ministry of James Fleming Leishman, and funded by local land owner, Robert Henry Elliot, Peter MacGregor Chalmers saw that the church "...was restored to something like its ancient form" (Leishman, p26-7). Consequently, the gothic chancel was rebuilt, a new arch was constructed between the nave and chancel, a vestry was added to the N and a new pulpit was re-sited. Finally, in order to re-establish the pre-Reformation appearance of the structure, the communion table was moved to the E end and the bellcote was set in its original position above the W gable. See separate list entry for Hoselaw Chapel, also in Linton Parish, and designed by MacGregor Chalmers prior to his work here.