Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 86038 50488
386038, 650488


1803; alterations and additions 1912. Rectangular-plan, plain Gothic church with 4-bay nave, gabled N aisle; lower pitched chancel to E with adjoining vestry to SE, single storey porch to W, square-plan 3-stage tower centred in S wall. Predominantly harl pointed rubble sandstone (squared and coursed to SE elevation; weathered in part); droved and polished sandstone dressings; some cream ashlar sandstone to vestry. Raised base course; raised quoins; tooled long and short surrounds to pointed-arched openings (margins lightly droved in part); projecting cills; hoodmoulds surmounting E and W windows; gabletted skewputts. Square-plan tower with prominent quoins at base; corniced upper stages; square-plan columns to belfry.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: engaged tower centred in E wall comprising recessed panelling at 2nd stage; pointed-arched, columnar birdcage belfry at 3rd stage (bell dated 1645 within); squat polygonal ashlar spire surmounted by finial. Regularly fenestrated in 2 bays to left and right respectively. Porch recessed to outer left with 2-leaf boarded timber door. Piended vestry advanced to outer right with single boarded timber door off-set to left of centre; taller chancel set behind.

NW (STREET) ELEVATION: gabled bay advanced at centre (N aisle) with rounded angles; corbel detailing beneath bracketed skewputts; single window aligned beneath apex. Single windows in bays recessed to left and right. Square-headed window centred in porch recessed to outer right. Lower gabled wing recessed to outer left (chancel); surmounting cruciform finial.

Replacement and modern applied glazing throughout: timber sash and case windows with intersecting tracery; fixed Y-traceried windows with applied lead-effect pattern. Grey slate roof; stepped stone skews; some cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: reoriented 1912. Boarded timber floor; stone slabs to chancel. Open timber hammerbeam nave ceiling with moulded sandstone springers; boarded timber barrel-vaulted ceiling to chancel. Boarded timber dado panelling; whitewashed walls above; chamfered timber cills. Timber pews (reoriented to face E in nave). Large sandstone segmental arch framing N aisle; pews facing S within. Decorative carving to timber pulpit; tooled sandstone blocks defining round-arched chancel arch; decorative carving and stencil panelling to timber communion table set within; timber chairs behind. Octagonal sandstone font

(Sir Robert Lorimer), 1910, given in memory of Alexander Low of Laws, senator of the College of Justice and elder of Whitsome parish. Predominantly replacement light fittings; wall-mounted decorative brass oil lamps flanking chancel arch. Boarded timber door accessing vestry to right.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: round-arched rubble coping to rubble sandstone walls enclosing site. Stop-chamfered, square-plan corniced gatepiers flanking entrance; pyramidal caps; decorative wrought-iron gates.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Evidence of the existence of a church in Whitsome parish can be traced back to 1296, when parson Rauf de Hawden swore fealty to Edward I at Berwick. Set within the old graveyard (see separate list entry), the original church is recorded as having been a "...miserable thatched building" which was "...very ill-seated, narrow and incommodious". Thus, the building of the present structure - a simple, but nevertheless comfortable church which, prior to its reorientation in 1912, seated 239. Originally, the church was arranged internally about a pulpit which was centred in the S wall. The pews were set around it and a gallery ran around the N, E and W walls. What is now the N aisle was originally the vestry. The early 20th century changes saw the extension of the E end to form a chancel and the subsequent reorientation of the seating to face E (the gallery being completely removed in the process). The bell, which remains in place, is recorded as having been founded in Edinburgh. It is inscribed "Iacobus Monteith Me Fecit Anno Dom 1645" - "James Monteith made me AD 1645". Today, despite the mix of replacement and modern glazing, the church retains a degree of architectural interest. Here, gabletted skewputts, raised quoins and stepped skews adorn an otherwise simple whole, given an air of modest grandeur with its squat tower and bellcote. The boundary walls, gatepiers and decorative gates only further the overall interest.



THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND Vol II (1845); Valuation Roll, Berwickshire, Whitsome Parish, 1855-56; appears on Ordnance Survey map, 1856; J H Craw TYPESCRIPT NOTES, WHITSOME PARISH, Berwickshire Naturalists? Club Library, (1920s); J Hay THE ARCHITECTURE OF POST REFORMATION CHURCHES, 1560-1843 (1957) p252; C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991) p61; Dr G A C Binnie THE CHURCHES AND GRAVEYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1995) p427-428; NMRS photographic records.

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 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.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 21/04/2019 13:51