August and September saw many hours of volunteering in conducting tonnes of rubble and soil clearing, exposing buried memorials, kirk entrances and steps and the exercise, supervised by Richard Carlton and his team of colleagues from The Archaeological Practice Ltd of Newcastle upon Tyne, has been a success in confirming that the kirk, built in 1126, is most definitely medieval, but with a post-reformation extension. The Practice will eventually have a full description of what the kirk would have looked like in its heyday. Further test-pitting will be carried out in the spring.
Coincidentally, the Conservation Architect, Robin Kent Ltd, has been drawing up plans, elevations, specifications and tender documents for experienced stonemasons to give us quotes. The stonemasonry repairs will be conducted in the spring/summer 2017.
Research into the history of the kirk, its religious context and the era of body-snatching, mort houses and mort safes is also underway.
The History Society is a supporter of the project which is being run by a new community body in the town – Coldstream's Heritage Ltd – Community Interest Company – specially set up to manage the projects, the proper spending of external grant funding, to assume the title deed for the kirk and manage it in the future, a listed B building. The directors of the company are Will Murray MA (Edin), Trevor Swan JP and Gerald Tait. Lady Caroline Douglas-Home and John Elliot are part of the project team.
Things will be quiet on site over the winter but the Community Interest Company is hosting a coffee morning in the Royal British Legion clubrooms on Saturday 7th January 2017 at 10:30am and any help would be greatly appreciated.
Will, Trevor, Gerald