Aberlady Church, East Lothian

Aberlady Church, East Lothian, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on the historic church at Aberlady, which is a village, near Haddington, on the southern coastline of the Firth of Forth in S.E. Scotland.

Aberlady Church, East Lothian

Aberlady Church, East Lothian, Scotland

At Aberlady, Christianity can be traced back to the 6th-7th centuries. There is tangible evidence from the 8th century in the form of the Aberlady Cross ( on which more below). The Culdees ( indigenous Celtic Church of Scotland) were active there in the 11th-12th centuries and were probably connected to the Culdee Monastery at Dunkeld in central Scotland. In the 13th century, a Carmelite Monastery existed towards the east of Aberlady. In the 15th century, the tower of the current was built, a robust structure 60 ft high with 4′ thick walls, with dual spiritual and defensive roles. A chancel was added to the tower in 1509. Additional aisles were added in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1773 change to the church occurred when the church was rebuilt whilst retaining the tower and aisles. This structure lasted until 1886. In 1887 a new church was built, much as it exists today.

Inside Aberlady Church is a copy of the shaft of the Aberlady Cross which may date from the 8th century.The original was found in the grounds of Aberlady Manse in 1863 and now resides in the National Museum in Edinburgh. Carving is of high quality and may be Pictish-Celtic or Anglian in origin. No trace of the rest of the cross has been found. A reconstruction of the cross stands close to the church.

Replica, Aberlady Cross

Replica, Aberlady Cross, East Lothian

Reconstruction, Aberlady Cross

Reconstruction, Aberlady Cross, Aberlady Church

The church, village and immediate vicinity are pleasant and welcoming and deserving of a visit. The local bay is a nature reserve with appeal to tourists and ornithologists.

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