Crichton Collegiate Church

Crichton, United Kingdom

The site of Crichton Collegiate Church may have been the location of an old Christian shrine. In about 1440 William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland started to build a church there. On 26 December 1449 he opened the church. Like many other collegiate churches, Crichton was built for the use of the local lord, and a provost, eight prebendaries, two choir boys and a sacrist were appointed to pray for the souls of the Crichton family. The provost was granted the tiends and tithes of the prebends, the Rectory of Crichton and the Temple lands appertaining to Crichton.

The church was built in a Gothic and Romanesque cruciform style with a large central tower; the nave was used as the place of worship for the poor people. However the Crichton family supported the claimant Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, in the 15th century, fell out of favour with the Scottish Crown and the Crichton lands were forfeited. During the Scottish Reformation of 1560 the glass was taken from the windows, the floor converted back to earth and the medieval stone tracery destroyed. The chancel roof was still extant but the church was a ruin and considered unusable for services.

Post Reformation

By 1569 it was being used as the parish kirk (church) and a minister, Adam Johnston, was ordained to lead the service. By the 1580s, major restoration work began, though the nave was said to be ruinous, as it is to this day. In 1641, by an Act of Parliament, Crichton Church was declared to be the parish church for all time. Though there was more restoration and adaptation in 1729 it was considered to have been carried out 'badly'. More work in the 1820s helped to bring the old church back to life, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that the church was fully restored, by the Edinburgh architects Hardy & Wright. Stained glass windows made by the Edinburgh company Ballantine and Gardener, new oak pews and a pipe organ built by the Glasgow company Joseph Brook were installed. The Church of Scotland closed the church in 1992 and the Crichton Collegiate Church Trust acquired the property. The Trust restored the organ, stained glass windows, lighting and the tower.



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Founded: c. 1440
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laurens Willis (6 months ago)
Was here for a Lammermuir Festival concert. Quite a small venue with limited facilities but the atmosphere and acoustics really added to our enjoyment of the concert.
Ronnie Tappenden (11 months ago)
Amazing g place to visit. You can feel the history Currently closed to the public.
Kirsa Munro (14 months ago)
A very interesting place and some super walks. Beautiful scenery as well.
Lu Sang (2 years ago)
We got married at Crichton Church last weekend and were totally blown away with it. Crichton is the most beautiful church in a gorgeous setting and is in credibly well run by Henry. So many of our guests commented on how wonderful and special it was and we couldn't agree more. We hope to return in the future to experience more of the Crichton magic!
Gavin Wilson (2 years ago)
Sadly I couldn't get inside but enjoyed a walk around the outside and read many headstones. Did a little reseach on some of them and quite interesting characters. Like all graveyards plenty of sadness that too many little ones or people too young lost. Found a family who married into mine just can't find their daughter who married my gggrandfather. But will keep searching.
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