Tucked away in the woods behind the small community of Kirkcolm is what remains of the ‘old’ church and churchyard, a category B Listed site. But the church is no longer to be seen having been demolished in the early 19th century to make way for the new church located on the rise of the hill at Church Road on the other side of the village. Only the churchyard, typically enclosed by an oval-shaped rubble boundary wall, is all that remains with a multitude of gravestones dating from the 18th century onwards, some possibly earlier, together with two burial enclosures to the west.
In February 2022, volunteers led by AOC Archaeology undertook two days of historic building recording to unearth the secrets of the gravestones, which revealed a huge range of dates, styles and symbology. Using a long-standing technique based on Harold Mytum’s well-renowned system for recording gravestones based on the CBA Handbook Recording and Analysing Gravestones (2000), every aspect of the memorials was recorded from condition, date, materials, symbology, text styles, decorative motifs and more.
The site is also closely linked to the Kilmorie Stone, featured in a previous news post. Now housed in the ‘new’ early 19th century church in the village, the stone was originally used as a door lintel when the old church was renovated in the 18th century. When that church was finally taken down in 1821, the stone was kept at nearby Corsewall house until the late 1980s when it was moved to its new home.
To find out more, check out the film taken during the churchyard recording: