Grange Of Elcho

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Alternative Names Elcho Nunnery; Orchardnook
Site Type CUP MARKED STONE, NUNNERY
Canmore ID 28389
Site Number NO12SW 25
NGR NO 1414 2176
Council PERTH AND KINROSS
Parish RHYND
Former Region TAYSIDE
Former District PERTH AND KINROSS
Former County PERTHSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NO12SW 25 1414 2176

(NO 1415 2175) (Site of) Nunnery (NR)
OS 6" map, (1938)

The foundation of the Cistercian nunnery at Elcho is attributed to David Linsday of Glenesk before 1241. The nunnery was burned by the English in December 1547, and between that time and 26th September 1559 it was attacked by Reformers, who drove out the nuns and completely destroyed their house.
It was erected into a temporal lordship for Lord Scone in 1610.
D E Easson 1957.

'Nothing is to be seen of it but the tower of the Church and the foundations of buildings.'
B Pococke 1887.

'The site of the buildings may yet be faintly traced..'
R S Fittes 1877.

An area about 35.0 metres square at NO 1414 2176 is enclosed within a grassed over bank up to 1.0m high, Within this area there appear to be the grassed over foundations of at least two rectangular buildings. Only a cursory inspection was possible owing to the presence of hostile livestock.
Visited by OS (R D L) 11 October 1963.

Excavations by members of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science revealed the church, which was shown to have three building periods. A cup-marked stone was found, incorporated in a buttress. Burials were also uncovered, while small finds include stained glass fragments and pottery sherds of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The finds and archive from the excavation are in Perth Museum (Acc Nos: 1983, 747,
756 and 763-7)
Perthshire Society of Natural Science, Archaeology Section, 1968; Perthshire Society of Natural Science, Archaeology Section, 1969; Perthshire Society of Natural Science, Archaeology Section, 1970; Perthshire Society of Natural Science, Archaeology Section, 1971; A G Reid 1984.

A further roof tile from the Elcho Nunnery excavations (Perthshire Scientific & Natural History Society, 1988) has been donated to Perth Museum (Acc No 1988.27).
A G Reid 1988.

The site of the Cisterian Nunnery at Grange of Elcho is situated in an arable field about 180m E of Orchardnook steading (NO12SW 334). In the late 1960's and early 1970's part of the site (the church) was excavated by members of the Archaeological Section of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science. The excavation trenches were backfilled when the excavation ceased but the following items are held in the Elcho Nunnery Archive at Perth Museum:
PMAG: 1983.700-703.1-7 worked stone
PMAG: 1983.704-708 pottery);
PMAG: 1983.709-16 glass
PMAG: 1983.717-21 non-ferrous metalwork
PMAG: 1983.722 iron
PMAG: 1983.723 coins
PMAG: 1983.724 metal waste
PMAG: 1983.725 nails
PMAG: 1983.726 flint
PMAG: 1983.727 jet
PMAG: 1983.728 wood
PMAG: 1983.729 bone pipe
PMAG: 1983.730 worked oyster shell
PMAG: 1983.731 animal remains
PMAG: 1983.732 bone
PMAG: 1983.733-35 human bone
PMAG: 1983. 736-39 metal and stone not reported
PMAG: 1983.740-47 paper archive
PMAG: 1983.756 animal bone
PMAG: 763 & 767 bone
PMAG: 1983. 764-5 environmental samples
PMAG: 1983.766 clay pipes
PMAG: 1984. 349 & 1986.289-292 slides
PMAG: 1984.348 copy of will of Euphemia, Prioress of Elcho.
The whereabouts of the cup-marked stone found during the excavation are unknown
Information from Mr M Hall (Perth Museum), 24 March 1997.

 
Books and References

Ballingal, J (1905) The Rhynd and Elcho: a parish history, Edinburgh
Page(s): 87, 93 Held at RCAHMS D.13.22.RHY

Cowan and Easson, I B and D E (1976) 'Medieval religious houses, Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man', London
Page(s): 146-7 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.COW

Cowan and Easson, I B and D E (1976) Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man, London
Page(s): 123 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.EAS.R

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