Repair, Conservation and Interpretation of the Medieval Lennel Kirk

Lennel Kirkyard

AS WELL AS BELOW, CAN WE ALSO DIRECT YOU TO THE GALLERIES PART OF THIS WEBSITE AND THE LENNEL CHURCH GALLERY, WHERE YOU WILL SEE LOTS OF PHOTOS OF THE KIRK BEFORE 'FIRST-AID', DURING REPAIR AND AFTER REPAIR.

1. Coldstream's Heritage Ltd - Community Interest Company using this website.

The society is a supporter and part funder of the project mentioned in the title. The society was responsible for all the transcribing and photographing of kirk yard headstones into another part of this website. This was an enormous task followed by finding out more about the people buried there, which is ongoing. During this lengthy exercise, led by Trevor Swan, it became clear that the ruinous Lennel kirk was an eyesore and potentially dangerous.

2. Kirk First-Aid

Then the Coldstream Community Trust stepped in and contacted Historic Environment Scotland to obtain a grant to stabilise the kirk: removal of the ivy from the 30 feet high west gable wall, other walls too, poisoning the ivy in an ecological way, assessing whether the site was occupied by bats and birds and generally giving the kirk site some 'first-aid'. All this was carried out with the permission of the kirk yard owner, Scottish Borders Council.

3. Who owns the Kirk?

Then the issue of who owns the kirk arose, for the community to apply for external grants to finish the job, and it became impossible to locate a title deed (Registers of Scotland). 

4. May 2015 Public Meeting and setting up of Community Interest Company, known as a CIC

The society acknowledges the conviction of a new Community Interest Company - Coldstream's Heritage Ltd - set up to manage this important heritage project, manage the grant funding and contractors and lodge a 'prescriptive claimant' title for the deed/ownership. This is ongoing.

The three officers of the company are Trevor Swan, Will Murray and Gerald Tait and the project team includes Lady Caroline Douglas-Home and John Elliot.

5. We are most grateful to our grant funders and donors 

The £145k project is funded by:-

The National Lottery - the Heritage Lottery Fund

Historic Environment Scotland

Fallago Environmental Fund

Scottish Landfill Communities Fund

The Headley Trust

Coldstream & District Local History Society

Flodden 1513 Club

Lennel Estates

Douglas and Angus Estates

Private Donations

6.  Basics of the project

The basics of the project are: stonemasonry to repair the medieval walls and stonework, archaeology and historic buildings research and education (information leaflets, interpretation board, talks, presentations to highlight the significance of the project). The level of volunteering on the project has already exceeded the budget set for it and this is part of the exercise: involve the community, engage people, provide a resource box for the local school and generally upgrade skills, knowledge and awareness. Archaeology volunteers have driven considerable miles to help us and the Tillvas organisation has been a great help. Diana Smith has been reviewing old kirk session records to see if there is any evidence of combatting the era of body-snatching and 'resurrection men'. 

7. A kirk yard tells the story of a community

It has become abundantly clear that a kirk yard and local kirk tell the history of a local community. Research is ongoing into the people buried in the old Lennel kirk yard and in the headstone transcriptions part of this website, you will find ongoing details.

8. Recent events

The latest events were: 13-14 March from 10am each day, archaeology;

9. Upcoming events

are: from 3rd April for stonemasonry which could take up to 13 weeks. Volunteers are not required for this.

HEALTH AND SAFETY WARNING: DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE KIRK WALLS OR NEARBY HEADSTONES; THE SITE REMAINS DANGEROUS.