Kirkpatrick Durham Church
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Built 1849-50 by architect Walter Newall; the T-plan church with tower is late Georgian in design despite the Victorian date. Interior re-ordered 1949 and a partition constructed which allowed a hall to be created. Upper hall constructed 1968-9. Refurbishment 2002. High in the north gable above the big pointed window with Y-traceried mullions is a circular stone heraldic panel with the coat-of-arms of William Kennedy, Abbot of Crossraguel between 1529 and 1547. Also carved in the panel is the date 1749: that of the previous church on the site. The carving on the stone appears to be two centuries earlier. This is the oldest ecclesiastical relic in the parish. Before that time the site of the church was at Minnydow, prominent on a high field now marked by a small circle of trees enclosed within a dry stone wall. It is probable that a church was on this site in the 13th century. On the back wall to the left as you leave is a simple wooden plaque commemorating the Rev Gabriel Semple, first of the covenanter field preachers, and his friend John Neilson. Semple was the great-great-grandson of Lord Semple who fell at Flodden in 1513. He had been chosen as minister by the Kirk session by popular election but in May 1662 an act of parliament was passed depriving all ministers, staunch in their Presbyterian beliefs, of their living that had not been “presented” by Royal Patronage. This was the end then of Presbyterian dominance and Episcopal Curates were forced on the congregations. Those who refused suffered severely. Semple was therefore “Outed” from the Kirk and the manse and went to Corsock House or Castle, the home of his friend John Neilson who was soon after “spoiled of his goods, driven from his home, tortured with the boot and hanged at the cross of Edinburgh in December 1666” for adherence to his Presbyterian faith. There is a “Table” memorial stone in the Kirkyard for his widow Mary McLellan who died in 1697, but also records the plight of John Neilson and his martyrdom in 1666.
Sunday 9.30 or 11.00 am except 1st Sunday of the month
Open by arrangement
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The information about churches in Scotland's Churches Scheme has been provided by the congregations or taken from the Historic Scotland list and published sources, in particular, the Buildings of Scotland volumes and the RIAS Illustrated Architectural Guides. The information is not authoritative; please contact us to let us know of any errors or omissions.