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Listed Building

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

ST DIONYSIUS' CHURCH (REMAINS OF)LB1986

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Information

  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 09/06/1971

Location

  • Local Authority: Scottish Borders
  • Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
  • Parish: Ayton

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NT 92794 60953
  • Coordinates: 392794, 660953

Description

Earlier to mid 12th century; extensively altered and rebuilt late 18th century; now ruinous. Roofless remains of former Ayton Church, set in graveyard, to NE of later Ayton Parish Church. W and E gables and much of S wall missing. Majority of N wall, N aisle and bell tower, and SE burial aisle in place. Originally rectangular-plan, later made T-plan with addition of N aisle. Harl-pointed sandstone rubble (squared and weathered in part); ashlar upper to bell tower; ashlar dressings throughout. Quoins; long and short surrounds to openings (blocked in part). Various burial aisles and enclosures incorporated within remains, including Fordyce family aisle to SE with large, round-arched, traceried window centred in S gable (2 sandstone mullions; single transom; round-arched heads); gravestones within; iron-railed enclosure to side. Overgrown burial aisle to NE (Alexander Skene). Various plaques and gravestones set in walls. Full-width, single storey, lean-to projection adjoining S elevation N aisle.

Statement of Special Interest

No longer in ecclesiastical use. A picturesque, ivy-clad group of ruins, thought to date, in part, from the 12th century, shortly after Ayton was granted to Durham Monastery. Dedicated to St Dionysius, this was originally a chapel attached to Coldingham, as Ayton was not a parish in its own right until after The Reformation. According to Binnie, as the "...first church of any size in Scotland", the building was used for a series of significant meetings between the Scots and the English, such as that which, in 1380, saw the renewal of the truce between the 2 countries. Much of what remains today is thought to date from the late 18th century when, according to THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT, several improvements were carried out. These improvements are thought to include the building of the

N aisle, the bell tower and the SE burial aisle. Originally thought to be the S transept, most now agree that this was built specifically as a burial aisle, added to the E end of the S wall. See separate list entries for the surrounding graveyard ('St Dionysius' Church (remains of), Graveyard') and the nearby Ayton Parish Church.

References

Bibliography

STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1791) p83. Sharp, Greenwood & Fowler's map, 1826 (site marked). NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (completed 1834, published 1845) pp144-145. Ordnance Survey Name Book (1856-1858) Reel 60, Book 3, NMRS. Ordnance Survey map, 1860 (evident). D MacGibbon & T Ross THE ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol 3 (1897) p543. BERWICKSHIRE NATURALISTS' CLUB TRANSACTIONS, Vol 13 (1890-91) pp93-95.

J Robson THE CHURCHES AND CHURCHYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1896) pp12-14. BERWICKSHIRE NATURALISTS' CLUB TRANSACTIONS, Vol 16 (1896-98) pp18-19. BERWICKSHIRE NATURALISTS' CLUB TRANSACTIONS, Vol 21 (1909-11) p241. RCAHMS 6TH REPORT & INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS & CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF BERWICK (1915) p4. C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1994) p22. G A C Binnie THE CHURCHES AND GRAVEYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1995) pp24-26. NMRS photographic records.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. 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.

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Printed: 30/08/2016 23:29