Houndwood Crematorium

(Grantshouse and Houndwood Parish Church)

Occupying the former Grantshouse and Houndwood Parish Church, which overlooks the A1 Trunk Road in the hamlet of Houndwood, this became the second crematorium in the Scottish Borders when it opened in 2015, after the Borders Crematorium. The £2 million conversion by the Edinburgh-based Carlton Development Group has created a small crematorium, which can seat 120 people, and also allowed the building to re-open on Sundays as a community church. A memorial garden has been created adjacent to the existing graveyard. This landscaped area was developed on an area of adjoining woodland provided by a local farmer and features pathways through native rowan and birch trees.

The B-listed building was constructed as a church in 1836. Built of local whinstone with red sandstone dressings, it comprises a rectangular box with a square Italianate tower in the middle of facade and a slated roof. It was extended in 1903 but, its congregation having dwindled, the church closed in 2003 with the future of the building in doubt. A plan to convert it into flats failed.

This represents one of few examples of a church being converted into a crematorium; the only other in Scotland is Moray Crematorium. However, the project turned out to be controversial following a long-running dispute with a neighbour which featured in the press because the developers had ignored the 1902 Cremation Act that requires the approval of property owners living nearby.

The crematorium is operated on a commercial basis by Grantshouse Crematorium Ltd, a sister company of the developers.

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