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Bowden Scotland

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Information on the village of Bowden in Scotland.

Bowden Kirk

Inside Bowden Kirk

This church and its predecessors have stood here for over 850 years. When the great Border Abbeys were being founded by David I, monks from Selkirk who were to found Kelso Abbey were granted land in Midlem, Bowden and Eildon. This grant was transferred to Kelso Abbey in 1128 and from then on there has been a Christian presence in Bowden.

The layout of the church shows that its origins lie in pre-Reformation, lying as it does east to west with a long nave and transepts.
The oldest part of the church is the north wall with the pointed arch leading into the organ loft. This part is 15th century with most of the rest being the resul t of rebuilding in the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries.

The Laird's Loft

The Laird's Loft
The laird's loft bears the initials S.T.K and D.G.H for Sir Thomas Ker and Dame Grisell Halkett, whose Coat of Arms is in the centre of the painted decoration.
Underneath is the verse:

"Behold the axe lyes at the trees' root
To hew down these that brings not forth good fruit
And when they'r cut the Lord in his ire
Will them destroy and cast into fire."

The loft was originally in front of the transept arch and behind it was a retiring room for the family to use between services on a Sunday.
Below is the burial vault of the Kers of Cavers-Carre. The Loft is still in use as the family pew of the Riddell-Carre family, direct descendants of the Kers.

The former burial aisle of the Dukes of Roxburghe is below the church. Today they are interred adjacent to Kelso Abbey.

The church is very unusual in that it has four external staircases and eight doors. There was an external stair and door which gave access to the Roxburghe Loft, another gives access to the West Gallery, one to the Loft of the Riddell-Carre family, who are the present occupants of Cavers-Carre, and others to the vaults which are still in use.

The Bells
The Bell, in the west belfry, is a new one cast for the Millennium.
It replaced the oldest bell which was cast in Edinburgh in 1690 by John Meikel. This bell is now inside the church. It bears the Inscription:
A third bell, bequeathed in 1924, hangs at the corner of the vestry and the chancel. It is still in use.


Priests Door

St Andrew

Stained Glass
The stained glass window facing the outside door is still known as the "priest's door" being in an area made by blocking up an existing doorway.

The stained glass window depicting St Andrew was presented in memory of Dr Jamieson a native of Bowden.

The baptismal bowl, presented in 1905, initially had the names of those baptised inscribed on it, but the practice was stopped when space ran out.

The pipe organ, in its loft, was fitted in 1912, cost 400, and is still in use today.

Back to: Articles about Bowden's History