Morebattle, Parish Church of St Lawrence
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of ScotlandAlternative Name(s)
PARISH CHURCH OF SAINT LAWRENCE AND GRAVEYARDCanmore ID
BURIAL GROUND, CHURCH, WELLCounty
SCOTTISH BORDERS, THENGR
NT 77221 25027Latitude, Longitude
NT72NE 7.00 77221 25027
NT72NE 7.01 77212 25002 Graveyard (centre).
Morebattle Church occupies the site of a late 12th-century building dedicated to St. Lawrence, one stone of which is still visible at its SE corner. The foundation of the S wall, with the remains of a single buttress, were located by excavation some years ago beyond the present W gable. The existing structure dates substantially from 1757 (OSA 1795) though additions were made in 1899 and 1903. It is oblong on plan, with a small chancel and porch which seem to be additions; it is lighted by tall round-headed windows and has a bell-cote at the W end. The churchyard wall on the N and the farmhouse of Haughhead immediately outside it over-lie the foundations of a building conjectured to have been the residence of the dean of Teviotdale (infra).
The following monuments in the churchyard fall to be mentioned.
(1) An armorial panel built into the E. gable of the church. This exhibits a shield with helm, mantling, and wreath, the crest being an escallop shell within leafy twigs. The shield is charged: On a chevron, three escallops, for Pringle of Clifton, and over all is a lable bearing the motto SPERO ET PROGREDIOR ("I hope and go forward"). This stone has evidently been part of a memorial, the usual funerary emblems appearing entwined in the mantling.
(2) Two table-stones of a late 17th-century type with illegible inscriptions.
The church of "Mereboda" belonged to Glasgow diocese from about the year 1116 (Reg Epis Glasguensis 1843) and was a prebend of Glasgow before 1228 (Reg Epis Glasguensis 1843). The large and unwieldy diocese of Glasgow was subdivided into two archdeaconries, one of Glasgow and the other of Teviotdale, by 1237 or 1238. The archdeacon of Teviotdale was, in virtue of his office, parson of Morebattle from some time before 1406. Under him were four deaneries, Teviodale, Peebles, Nithsdale, and Annandale, but the importance of the office diminished and for a century before the Reformation the archdeacons of Teviotdale were persons of no great eminence (G Watson 1907). The vicar of Morebattle was sometimes dean of Teviotdale, the deanery embracing the parishes of Mow, Yetholm, Linton, and More- battle. The church of Morebattle was burnt in 1544 (Letters and Papers, Henry VIII).
RCAHMS 1956, visited 22 October 1937, 27 April 1952.
(NT 7727 2499) St Lawrence Well (NR).
OS 6" map, Roxburghshire, (1924).
St. Lawrence's Well, Morebattle. No remains survive.
RCAHMS 1956, visited 22 October 1937.
This church, still in normal use, and the monuments in the churchyard, are as described by the Commission. St Lawrence's Well (correct name) has now disappeared under a scatter of large stones from which a slight flow of water still issues.
Well revised at 1/2500.
Visited by OS(WDJ) 14 November 1967.
SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE
New window in church: repair of existing windows: building of new manse. A letter sent to Sir William Bennet of Grubbet gives details of his share of the cost. A postscipt complains of thatcher's shortage of divots.