Talk:Roxburghshire Towns and Villages K
Construction of Kelso Abbey commenced around 1125-30, in 1243 the Abbey was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St John. One of several abbeys in the borders region, Kelso is believed to have been the largest.
The Reformation and the orders of Henry VIII saw the destruction of the abbeys, by the mid 1500's the buildings lay in ruins, what can be seen today is believed to be less than 10% of the original building.
During the mid 1600's a Parish Church was built within the site, this remained until the 1770's. It is rumoured that many of the buildings within Kelso feature dressed stones from the ruined abbey.
The oldest place of worship still in use inwith Kelso is Kelso Old Parish Church. Originally built in 1773, a replacement for the previous Parish Church within the Old Abbey Ruins, the church is an unusual (but not unique) octagonal shape. Some alterations were carried out in 1823. Extensive restoration works were undertaken quite recently and the building is part of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Scheme.
St Andew's Church came about in 1868, a busy period of church construction within the town. The spire is visible from the south and west for some distance but sometimes confused with the larger spire of the North Parish Church built two years previously. Externally the building appears as a well proprtioned church, nestled on one side in a small square close to the Abbey. There is no graveyard but a small rear garden and room serve the purposes of the Junior Church. Carved marble and Caen stone is used for the Altar, reredos and font together with a decorative wooden pulpit and chancel roof.
Kelso North Parish Church has an ornately carved exterior which is quite a contrast to the rather restrained interior. The church overlooks the river Tweed and the spire is clearly visible from some distance when approaching the town from the West. The building was constructed in 1866, designed by Frederick Pilkington. The building originally served the Free Church but reverted to Church Of Scotland use after the reunions of the assorted church groups.
St Mary's RC Church predates both the North Parish Church and St Andrews by around ten years. Originally a simple 4 bay structure by W. Wardel of London, the addition of the chancel took place in 1935. Mahogany was used in 1916 for the present altar and reredos to a design by Archibald MacPherson.
The former United Presbyterian Church appears to be much older than it really is. Architect John Starforth chose a Gothic style for the building, construced in the mid 1880's. The building is now used for commercial purposes but is largely unchanged from the original design and retains the imposing bell tower complete with impressive arched entrance. The use of ashlar (a high quality dressed stone around the doors and windows) is a common feature in buildings within the borders.
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