Ettrick Kirk

(Ettrick Parish Church)

Ettrick Kirk
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Ettrick Kirk

Located amongst mature trees at Ettrickhill, 14 miles (23 km) south southwest of Innerleithen, Ettrick Kirk is a T-plan church which dates from 1824, with a prominent square tower containing a belfry. The lands of Ettrick were granted to Melrose Abbey by Alexander II in 1235 and a church may have been built on this site soon after. A new church was certainly erected here by Sir Robert Scott of Thirlestane in 1619. Thomas Boston (1676 - 1732), author of Human Nature in its Fourfold State, was the minister here from 1707-32.

The interior is substantially of grained woodwork and the pews are in three sections, with galleries above, facing the pulpit on the south wall. The east gallery is a Laird's loft for the Napiers of Thirlestane, with its own private entrance. The pews in the other galleries are enclosed, apparently to stop the shepherd's dogs fighting! The elevated pulpit has an ogee-domed canopy above. In front of the pulpit is a Precentor's box, from where the singing was led until well into the 20th century. The church was subject to a major restoration 1995-98.

Notables lying in the kirkyard include the aforementioned Thomas Boston, together with James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd (1770 - 1835), inn-keeper Isabella 'Tibbie' Shiel (1782 - 1878) and the Lords Napier.

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