Kirk Of Shotts, St Catherine's Chapel, Kirk Well And Martyr's Grave

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Alternative Names Kirk O'shotts
Canmore ID 46737
Site Number NS86SW 2
NGR NS 8434 6293
Former District MONKLANDS
Datum OSGB36 - NGR
NGR Desc NS 8434 6293, NS 8419 6301 and NS 8433 6292

Canmore Mapping
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Architectural Notes


Architect: James Brash 1820 (G.Hay gives James Brash as Architect, completing church by Gillespie Graham).

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NS86SW 2 8434 6293, 8419 6301 and 8433 6292

(NS 8434 6293) St Catherine's Chapel (NR) (site of)
(NS 8419 6301) Well (NAT) on site of Kate's Well (NR)
(NS 8433 6292) Martyr's Grave (NR)
OS 1:10,000, (1972).

For (successor and modern) Kirk of Shotts and graveyard (NS 8426 6295 and NS 8429 6287), see NS86SW 65.

Before 1476, James Hamilton founded and built a chapel, dedicated to St Catherine of Siena, which was erected into a parish church. The dedication to St Catherine appears to have given way to the Virgin Mary, for in 1552 there is a reference ot the "Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bertram-Shottis". Near the church was St Catherine's Well, a spring locally called "Kate's Well" in 1860. Hamilton also built a poor's hospital at the church.
The convenanter, John Smith of Moormailing, is buried in the churchyard. His gravestone records that he took part in the Pentland Rising in 1666, and was murdered on his return home.
The church, dependent on Bothwell Church, was founded in 1450 and re-dedicated about 1471. It was repaired and partly rebuilt in 1640-8 and 1691; it was removed in 1819-21 when the present church was built (at NS 8426 6294). Its exact site is marked by the headstone erected to Samuel Meuros.
Fasti Eccles Scot, H Scott et al 1920, 1950; D E Easson 1957; Name Book 1860; New Statistical Account (NSA, W L Colvin), 1845; J W McBride 1950; F H Groome 1901.

The date of the foundation, 1450, is well authenticated; grave-diggers have probed the foundations of the church, but no excavations have taken place. The font is in use in the present church. (Information from Rev J W McBride, Kirk o' Shotts Manse).
The headstone at NS 8434 6293 referred to by McBride (supra) is inscribed: 'Here stood the precentor's desk in the Kirk of Bertram Shotts which was rebuilt and extended 1642'. A slight swelling in the ground denotes the spot where this chapel or church once stood. No foundations are to be seen.
The site of the hospital was not ascertained.
A modern constructed well occupies the site of Kate's Well (published on OS 6" 1921), and water still runs into it from a pipe in the embankment. The headstone above the grave of John Smith gives no indication as to its original date of erection; it is stated that it was repaired in 1836. It has an appearance of great age, being very weather-worn and its original inscription very hard to distinguish.
Visited by OS (FDC) 27 April 1953.

A sub-rectangular mound (NS 8434 6293) marks the site of the medieval church, and the attendant recalled that foundations have been encountered in that area. The stone erected to Samuel Meuros is as described by the OS, while the Covenanter's stone has been recently cleaned and the lettering has been picked out in black paint. The well is situated about 100m to the NW of the present church, by the side of the road; it has been rebuilt recently.
Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) 3 July 1992.

Books and References

Campbell, T (1996) Standing witnesses: an illustrated guide to the Scottish Covenanters, Edinburgh
Page(s): 129, 191 Held at RCAHMS C.1.5.CAM

Cathcart, Murray and Hall, R, C and D W (2000) Gazetteer of medieval hospital sites in Aberdeenshire, Glasgow City, Highland, Lanarkshire and Moray Council areas, [S.l.]
Held at RCAHMS E.13.1.CAT

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): 156 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.EAS.R

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