Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

SWINTON CHURCH, CHURCH OF SCOTLAND, INCLUDING GRAVEYARD, BOUNDARY WALL, GATEPIERS AND GATESLB15338

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
09/06/1971
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
Parish
Swinton
NGR
NT 83878 47647
Coordinates
383878, 647647

Description

Rebuilt 1729 on site of previous church (itself restored 1593); Feuar?s aisle added 1782; small improvements 1796, 1800; Feuar?s aisle extended to W 1837; substantial external and internal alterations by Robert Lorimer, 1910. Near L-plan church with original rectangular plan body to S running E-W; Feuar?s aisle centred to N (later vestry beyond); later infill in re-entrant angle to NW; Swinton family burial ground in re entrant angle to NE. Pointed sandstone rubble; squared and snecked tooled sandstone to porches; tooled sandstone dressings. Tooled quoins (droved in part); predominantly square headed, chamfered openings; chamfered cills.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 7-bay. Projecting gabled porch in bay to outer left; sandstone carving aligned at centre; modern sundial above; timber panelled door in return to left. Projecting gabled porch off-set to right of centre with timber door in return to left; large gabled windows breaking eaves in 2 bays to left and bay to right. Single window in penultimate bay to outer right; exterior stair to laird?s loft with timber panelled door to outer right; architraved surround; surmounting pediment with carved boar motifs (Swinton coat of-arms).

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: gabled bay to outer left with single window at centre. Single window in Feuar?s aisle recessed to right; coped sandstone wall enclosing Swinton family burial ground to front. Lower single storey vestry to outer right.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: plate traceried window in projecting vestry adjoining central Feuar?s aisle. Coped sandstone wall enclosing burial ground recessed to left; large gabled window breaking eaves in nave behind. Gabled infill off-set to right of centre with single windows flanking central stack; boarded timber door in single storey addition centred at ground.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: pointed-arched, Y-traceried window centred in gabled wing to right; surmounted by stepped and finialed sandstone belfry with bell in place (dated 1499); pyramidal-capped, square-plan wallhead sundial to outer right. Single window in later wing adjoined to left.

Predominantly stained, plain leaded glazing; decorative stained glass window to W (1913); timber sash and case round-arched windows to vestry. Grey slate roofs; raised stone skews; replacement rainwater goods. Coped wallhead stack to N.

INTERIOR: W porch with boarded timber dado; tiled floor. Sandstone plaque above door inscribed 'Mak no delay to tvrn to the Lord (A)NNO 1593, rebuilt 1729'. Boarded timber dado to E porch. Nave with parquet timber floor; boarded timber dado; plain plasterwork; replacement light fittings. 3 columns on timber panelled plinths dividing later aisles from original body of church (outer columns engaged). Timber pews throughout facing pulpit platform centred in S wall; carved timber pulpit; timber communion table; decorative screens enclosing sides with carved timber boars surmounting octagonal piers. Timber panelled balcony with Swinton coats-of-arms enclosing laird's loft to E. Various memorial tablets to Swinton family; sandstone tablet to N dated 1782, signed by feuars. Early 20th century organ with decorative timber detailing. Sandstone aumbry with sandstone shelf built into N wall of E aisle. Sandstone effigy in segmental-arched recess to left of pulpit; round arched panel above with carved boar motifs, inscribed ?hic iacet Alanvs Svintonvs Miles de eodem?. Vestry set to N with boarded timber dado; timber panelled doors; part-boarded timber ceiling.

GRAVEYARD: irregularly-spaced 18th and 19th century gravestones including table top monuments, classically-detailed headstones, finialed columns and square-plan monuments on tiered plinths.

BOUNDARY WALL, GATEPIERS AND GATES: low coped rubble wall enclosing site (heavily pointed in part). Square-plan weathered sandstone piers flanking entrance to SW; pyramidal caps; 2-leaf iron gates with Swinton coat-of-arms centred on each (1964); hooped iron pedestrian gate to SE.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Prominently sited, this originally rectangular-plan, earlier 18th century church contains fragments from a previous structure. These fragments include a sandstone aumbry, a bell inscribed ?Maria est nomen mevm 1499? and a panel dated 1593. Although the recumbent sandstone effigy is thought to represent Sir Alan Swinton who died around 1200, the sculpture is more likely to derive from the 16th century and possibly therefore, the renovations of 1593. The removal of the pulpit from the E end and its setting in the centre of the S wall is also thought to date from this period. Following the unification of Swinton and Simprim parishes in 1761, "...the newcomers felt themselves crowded" (STATISTICAL ACCOUNT). Thus, the addition of a Feuar?s aisle to the N in 1782. This was extended to the W in 1837 - changing the overall form from a T- to an L-plan. Stones in the S wall, dated AD 1796 and AD 1800, are thought to commemorate subsequent works. In 1907, Sydney Mitchell, architect, referred to the church as "...unhealthy, uncomfortable and unsightly" (SRO). By 1910, the "...low ceilings, damp floors, small windows, and primitive hot air arrangements" (D D F MacDonald) had become intolerable and Robert Lorimer was commissioned to carry out extensive renovations. Thomas Marwick, an Edinburgh architect, is recorded as having drawn up plans which were subsequently approved by Lorimer (SRO). Renovations included raising the walls, heightening the windows, rebuilding the end gables, re roofing and the installation of a parquet floor and new oak pews. A pulpit, carved by Kensington School of Art and gifted by the Swintons, also dates from this time. According to Lorimer?s final report, dated March 1911, "...the work has been carefully and sympathetically done and the quaint and old fashioned character of the church has been in no way damaged ... the church is in a thoroughly satisfactory structural condition" (SRO).

References

Bibliography

SRO HR/299/2, /4, /5, SRO RHP13475, RHP13476, RHP13478. Armstrong's map, 1771 (evident). THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1793) p331. THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1834) p195. F H Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND (1885) p424. J Robson THE CHURCHES AND CHURCHYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1896) pp208-211. FERGUSON?S SKETCH BOOK, NO 10, NMRS (1900). RCAHMS INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS, BERWICK COUNTY (1909) pp49-50. D D F MacDonald, THE RE DEDICATION OF SWINTON PARISH CHURCH (1910) Swinton Post Office archive. G Hay THE ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST REFORMATION CHURCHES, 1560-1843 (1957) p77, 252. Rev F J L MacLauchlan SWINTON AND ITS CHURCH (1965). C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991) p61. Dr G A C Binnie THE CHURCHES AND GRAVEYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1995) pp400-407. NMRS photographic records BW/1945.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

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Printed: 13/11/2018 17:56