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St Andrew's Old Parish Church

Now reduced to a lonely three-storey tower, with a crow-stepped gabled roof, marooned in a large graveyard, a quarter-mile (0.5 km) west of the town centre, St. Andrew's Old Parish Church forms a prominent landmark on the western approach to the town of Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Dedicated in 1195 by Bishop Joceline of Glasgow, the church was built on the site of an ancient foundation dedicated to St. Mungo. It was raised to the status of a Collegiate Church in 1543, at which time this relatively small church was recorded as having no less than twelve altars, but burned by the English during the Rough Wooing just five years later. The church was finally abandoned in 1560 and the congregation moved to the Cross Kirk. Oliver Cromwell's army stabled their horses here while besieging Neidpath Castle in 1650. Having been quarried for their stone, by the 19th century the ruins comprised only the W tower and a section of the N wall. A thorough restoration was completed in 1883 on the instructions of William Chambers (1800-83). This work was controversial, because it paid little heed to the preceding construction, indeed MacGibbon & Ross went as far as to suggest that the building now had "no interest whatsoever as a specimen of the ancient architecture of Scotland", yet it is now a Category-B listed scheduled monument. The graveyard includes stones from the 17th century.


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