Coldstream's Heritage Ltd is a Community Interest Company (CIC) (Ltd by Guarantee), set up by Trevor Swan, Will Murray and Gerald Tait to project manage the repair, conservation and interpretation of the medieval Lennel Kirk. What this means is that the CIC will ensure the kirk is locked-in to community care for good. The kirk is medieval, was built in the early 12th century and served the community until 1718 when the parish church situation moved to Coldstream.
The project officially commenced in July 2016, involved a lot of volunteering on project management, archaeology and research. The grant funders were: Historic Environment Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Fallago Environmental Fund, Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, The Headley Trust, Flodden 1513 Club, Coldstream & District Local History Society, Lennel Estates, Douglas and Angus Estates and a private donor. The CIC is extremely grateful.
The project has involved: stonemasonry, stabilising interior headstones, archaeological digs, interpretation board, research into the context of the kirk, a profile of how the kirk and congregation thwarted the 'Resurrection Men' (body snatching) and research into the borders trail of abbeys, priories, kirks and nunneries. A complete reversal of 200 years of neglect might spur the Council into more regular grass-cutting of the old kirk yard, or a 'Sheep Plan' could be approved, paying them a minimum wage!
"We have lost for good our famous Coldstream Priory and we now don't want to lose our medieval kirk" .
The image below is of the site during stonemasonry repairs in late July 2017. The workmen of Team Force Restoration Ltd of Blyth, Northumberland, are hard at it watched by John Elliot and Gerald Tait.
The site is now (September 2017) completely repaired and has a gravel flooring.
Two events are coming up:-
- Thursday 28th September at 7pm in the Community Centre - Presentation Talk on the Project, Cheese and Wine
- Tuesday 3rd October at 10:30am at the kirk at Lennel - Thanksgiving Service and Brief Guided Tour.
Members of the public are invited to both.