Southwick Old Kirk

Parish Colvend & Southwick Location Ordnance Survey Grid Ref: NX 9064 5694


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2004

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Description

There is very little documentary evidence for this much altered little church. The ruins that we see today are more likely to be post reformation in origin, though two small Romanesque windows, of red sandstone, in the East Gable may well be original.The surrounding graveyard wall has originally been oval, though the north wall is now shown by a raised bank where the cemetery has been extended.The ruins of this church are situated within a burying-ground distant about 6 miles by road to the southeast of Dalbeattie at the east base of Bainloch Hill. The existing fragment is oblong on plan, measuring 62 feet 6 inches by 26 feet 3 inches over walls from 3 feet 3 inches to 4 feet in thickness and about 12 feet in height.Traces of a cross wall indicate that the interior was divided almost equally into two parts, but only a few ” tusks ” of the cross wall remain on the interior surface of the south walL In the east gable are two round-arched windows measuring 2 feet 9 inches in height by 5 1/4 inches in breadth, with splayed outer jambs and wide inner scuncheons. It is to be noted that the arch-heads are hewn out of single stones, and the jambs have no checks for leaded glass. There are three rough openings in the north wall, from which all the hewn work has been removed with the exception of the east jamb of a central doorway, and the east half of the south wall is demolished. The original foundation appears to have been dedicated to Our Lady of Southwick in the 13th century. The existing fragment, however, has been much altered, if not rebuilt, in post-reformation times.

 

33_Southwick Old KirkThe graveyard surrounding the old Kirk is mostly 18th and 19th Century, with a modern extension to the north.  In the old graveyard one stone stands out  It is portable, in the sense that it can be picked up and moved.  It is only 60cm high, and about 25cm wide.  On the face a skeleton has been carved in relief.  On our initial survey the stone could not be found, but when we returned a few months later the stone was sitting against another.  when we visited the site in 2012 it was once again missing.