Headstone Transcriptions of Other Kirk/Church Yards

Transcriptions of churchyards and kirkyards around Coldstream, over and above those listed for Lennel and Cornhill. Most of the transcriptions were carried out by David Cargill and helpers in the 1970s and therefore these have been a great help because some of the headstones are deteriorating or have fallen.

We have transcribed, or are transcribing, into this website, and accompanying photos, headstones in the following church or kirkyards, including memorials to people within churches/kirks. These are:- West Learmouth, Branxton, Carham, Birgham, Eccles, Leitholm, Anton’s Hill, Swinton, Kirknewton, Ford, Simprim and Norham.

Some of these are complete, others are being covered and some are still to do. See the comments on each one. Memorial plaques within churches and kirks are included and we are listing the ones in Coldstream Parish Church as well. 

You will also find images of stained glass windows, donated pulpits and other key things. Please also see our Lennel and Cornhill transcriptions which, because of their size, have had to be displayed in a more regimented way – sections, rows and headstone number. The other churchyards are generally arranged in a simpler fashion.


Northumberland war memorials

Mindrum Cemetery

This Churchyard is in a very poor state very overgrown with weeds. In 1912 Rev Matthew Cully of Copland Castle transcribed some of the stones that were still standing. The Rev John Hodgson visiting Mindrum in 1835 wrote in his note book Mindrum burial ground with several headstones in it. The chapel can only be traced by its foundation. It is an enclosure in which are two alter tombstones, one erected by Isabella Edmiston in memory of John Edmiston tenant in Mindrum who died Jan 6th, 1778 aged 55 years. The other also to John Edminston 1757

Antons Hill Private Cemetery

Completed. This private cemetery is south of the Leitholm kirkyard, on the Orange Lane road, within a wood on the left about 200m from the road. The transcriptions and photos are complete and some of these are military, so the site is a war memorial too. It is best to seek permission to enter the cemetery.

Birgham Cemetery

Completed. There is no kirk here. Birgham transcriptions are now complete and checked for accuracy.The kirk yard is located on the south part of the village, down a narrow road beside a farm and new houses. Look out for the little sign and it is best to park on the main road, in a lay by. Sections A and B are on the left of the path; section C is on the right and hosts the newer headstones. It is a very well-maintained kirk yard, in a quiet and peaceful spot with a beautiful view over the Cheviot hills.

Branxton Churchyard

Completed. There are two churchyards here. The first surrounding the Branxton Church and the other, across the road. As you walk in the main gate facing the church, approach the church door, and you will see a path parallel to the church. We have listed the headstones as north and south, any on the church side are listed as north and any on the other side of the path are south. The churchyard beside the church is listed as the 'Old Churchyard' and the other one as the 'New Churchyard'. All the transcriptions and photos are in place here.

Carham Churchyard

Completed but some records require to be checked for accuracy. There is also the current problem that the headstone transcriptions are not listed in order (recent November 2016 computer problem!) The site is divided into three parts, left of the central path, which is section A, right of the central path, which is section B, and there are private burial plots beside the church and some memorials in the church. Both sections A and B commence near the churchyard gates. The daffodils in the spring are worth a visit.

Coldstream Parish Church

Completed. There are no headstones as such in the church, or immediately outside it, but there are several memorial plaques and other dedications on walls.

Earnslaw Mausoleum

Completed. Earnslaw Mausoleum is about 50 yards from Earnslaw House. We are very grateful to the present owners for allowing us to transcribe the details of the headstones in the Mausoleum. It is covered in ivy, both inside and out. It is assumed that it was built by the Thomson family some time around 1820-40 as there are only 3 headstone to be found and all children of the Thomson family.

Eccles Kirkyard

Completed. Eccles is now complete and is in three sections with some memorials within the church. Section A is left of the kirk as you enter the kirk yard gates, section B is at the rear of the kirk yard beside the burial aisles and to the right of the kirk as you enter the gate. It is a well-maintained kirk yard and a lovely, quiet spot to be laid to rest.

Ford Churchyard

Most of the headstones are now in the system . We started on the north and worked our way round and finished at the most up to date, it is fully searchable using the search box in the system.

Horndean Churchyard

The ancient parish of Horndean in the parish of Ladykirk. The church or chapel of Horndean is mentioned about the middle of the 12th century. "William de Vetereponte " acquired the manor of Horndean during this time. He transferred the church to the monks of Kelso. There was also a Hospital founded at Horndean during the 12th century, it was dedicated to St Leonard at Horndean. At the end of the 13th century the Kelso monks had taken residences there.The hospital also 16 acres of land, a fishing station on the Tweed and a park within the manor of Upsetlington. No trace what so ever is left of the hospital. The old burial ground of Horndean stands in the center of an open field within about 200 paces of the Tweed. It is surrounded by a low broken down wall. There are about 8 headstones left standing all the others have disappeared. There is no trace of the chapel left in the churchyard just a mound of stone.

Kirknewton Churchyard

The parish church of St Gregory the Great serves one of the largest and most sparsely populated parishes in England, covering an area of 42,000 acres. In medieval times the parish consisted of 15 townships – now mainly small hamlets and isolated dwellings.This has been a place of worship since the 11th century. The first incumbent to be identified was Stephen, priest from 1153 to 1197. However, little remains of his church. The earliest church visible today was a cruciform building without aisles. It was not until the early 13th century that a north aisle was added. One of the features of this church is the relief of the Adoration of the Magi on the facing wall of the chancel arch above the priest’s stall. It is thought to date from at least 12th century. However, some experts believe it dates from the 9th century Another is the grave of Josephine Butler, the Victorian social reformer, whose grave lies to the west of the tower. Josephine Elizabeth Grey was born in April 1828 at Milfield Hill, the 4th daughter of John Grey of Dilston and his wife Hannah Annett. She was baptised at St Gregory’s in May of that year. The Greys were a prominent Northumbrian family, known for their liberal views. In 1852, Josephine married George Butler – later to become Canon of Winchester Cathedral. Perhaps unusually for those times, he was a very supportive husband and encouraged Josephine in her campaigning work. Despite – or perhaps because of – the tragic death of her little daughter, Eva – she was determined to campaign on behalf of vulnerable people in society. She expressed the need to ‘find some pain keener than my own’. Her particular concern was improving the lot of disadvantaged women and at the forefront of this was her crusade against the cruel Contagious Diseases Prevention Act of 1864 which effectively gave the authorities the power to place women ‘living immoral lives’ under police supervision and to force these unfortunate women to undergo medical examination. She endured opposition and personal threats, some very dangerous, during her long campaign to have this infamous Act abolished. Finally in 1886, the Contagious Diseases Prevention Acts were repealed. During her life her Christian faith never wavered. She devoted herself to a life of prayer, believing that her vocation was a gift from God. Widowed in 1890, Josephine Butler lived peacefully near her eldest son, George Grey Butler, until her death in December 1906. We have made a start on this churchyard in November 2016 and it is going to take us until the spring of 2017 to make sure everything recorded is accurate. We must give thanks to the Berwick-upon-Tweed Archive for all their assistance as they transcribed this church yard many years ago and they allowed us to use their material Section A is from the small south gate to the Church door. Section B is from the church door for about 9 rows but they are not all in the correct order(We have just copied original list) Section C starts from the back of the church Section D is to the north of the church Section E is to the east of the church To find a headstone use the search box on the front page of the Kirknewton section.

Ladykirk Churchyard

Ladykirk is the oldest intact church in Berwickshire and dates from 1513. It was ordered to be built by King James IV after he survived a near drowing while crossing the Tweed at Norham nearby village and he declared it should be safe from fire or flood hence its solid construction and a stone roof. The Sections of the Churchyard are split into section A is east of the Church Section B is South of the Church Section C is West of the Church And D is North of the Church

Leitholm Cemetery

Completed. The church is not in the cemetery. As you go into the Graveyard section A is the south west side near the road next to the hedge. The photograph is of the bell tower in Leitholm Church with Hunter of Antons Hill inscription. The transcriptions are in but need to be checked for errors/inaccuracy.

Mindrum Cemetery

This Churchyard is in a very poor state very overgrown with weeds. In 1912 Rev Matthew Cully of Copland Castle transcribed some of the stones that were still standing. The Rev John Hodgson visiting Mindrum in 1835 wrote in his note book Mindrum burial ground with several headstones in it. The chapel can only be traced by its foundation. It is an enclosure in which are two alter tombstones, one erected by Isabella Edmiston in memory of John Edmiston tenant in Mindrum who died Jan 6th, 1778 aged 55 years. The other also to John Edminston 1757

Norham Churchyard

Norham after 2 years photographing and transcribing it is finished. It is one of the very best Churchyards we have come across very well looked after with the grass cut and always tidy. A credit to the village.

Simprim Kirkyard

We finished populating this site with transcriptions and photos.There have been 67 headstones transcribed from the Cargill lists but sadly only about a fifth of the headstones remain. The grass in the kirkyard is kept very tidy. In 1761 Swinton and Simprim religious matters were merged, partly because of the transfer of the Simprim minister, Mr. Jolly, to Coldstream. Simprim was the parochial charge of Thomas Boston, the famous preacher, from 1699 to 1707, and afterwards he was transferred to the Ettrick parish. Simprim, a very small hamlet, lies south of Swinton on the A6112. Today little is left of the church. A stone plaque commemorating the reverend Boston can still be seen on the east gable wall, the only wall remaining. There is evidence that Simprim was important in its day, though some would rightly argue it is still important and peaceful with lovely views over south Berwickshire and the Cheviot hills. A Hye de Simpinc possessed the manor in the reign of Malcolm IV with the monks of Kelso receiving the church although the lands finally went to Coldingham in 1298. Later, the property of Simprim belonged to the ancient family of Cockburn of Langton who after compiling large debts sold the land to Patrick, Lord of Elibank in 1758. Dr. Johnston, a founder member of the Berwickshire Naturalists Club was born in Simprim in 1797. (Elizabeth Layhe in the History of Berwickshire's Towns and Villages - published in 1994) There does not appear to be immediate evidence of when the kirk was last used, whether it survived Henry VIII's 'rough wooing' and Reformation of the early to mid 16th century. The kirk remains are not Listed by Historic Environment Scotland.

Swinton Kirkyard

We have completed the task of transcribing and photographing the headstones in this kirk yard, with a caveat. It's important that the transcriptions are fully accurate and we are in the process of double-checking the detail. We should be finished this by the end of January 2017. Apologies meantime if you find any mistakes/anomalies. The kirk yard is split into 8 parts: Section A starts at the east-end gate and steps and ends at the west-end gate, keeping to the left-hand side near the road. Section B is a small section near the the gate to the Manse at the west-end. Section C starts near the Manse, on the right-hand side of the path Section D is the bit down the hill towards the field at the rear of the kirk yard Section E is mainly the Swinton family aisle, on the north/east side of the kirk. Section F is the top of the brae immediately behind the kirk on the north side Section G is the part going towards the east-end path Section H is the new kirk yard across the road There are also memorials within the kirk. Don't forget to view the Flodden bell on the kirk and give it a ring if you wish.

Wark on Tweed Burial Ground

Completed. Wark Cemetery is on the west side of the old castle, very close to where the Wark football pitch was. There are no stones left standing. It was known as St Giles.

West Learmouth Burial Ground

Completed. There are only a few very old headstones in this neglected site of about 30m x 15m. It's now really a small copse. We were disturbed by the amount of litter there. It is about 400m from West Learmouth farm.

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