Culross and West Kirk

The next place I visited – this time with husband – was Culross. The palace gardens were used as Claire’s herb garden and then the town featured as the Cransmuir in the series. The study was Geillis Duncan’s house. It was a gorgeous day so we had a pleasant walk around the palace, gardens and town.

The Royal Burgh of Culross is a unique survival, a town that time has passed by. It is the most complete example in Scotland today of a Burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Town House was built in 1626 and was the administrative centre of Culross with a tollbooth and witches’ prison. The old buildings and cobbled streets create a fascinating time warp for visitors. (NTS website)

Our next stop was West Kirk which is just outside Culross. This was used as the Black Kirk in The Way Out. It was worth the walk, such a peaceful place.

Situated to the northwest of Culross in West Kirk Churchyard and surrounded by agricultural land, this was the former parish church of Culross.   It was replaced by the Abbey Parish Church  by an Act of Parliament of 1633.   However, it appears that the church had been out of use for some time before this, as the Act records that it was already in a ruinous condition.    The church is now roofless and a large tree grows inside the western end of the building and much ivy on the walls.   The graveyard is surrounded by low rubble boundary walls, which are in a poor state of repair in several places, and is entered at the southeast corner, where there are square gatepiers.   In general the graveyard is relatively flat but the church is on a slightly higher area on the northern side.   There is a large variety of headstones and table stones within the graveyard dating from the seventeenth -nineteenth centuries. The earlier monuments display symbols of death and mortality and a number of trades are also depicted, such as farmer, mariner and miner.

A late nineteenth century rectangular mausoleum is just outside the western edge of the graveyard, surrounded by sandstone rubble walls. There are three round arched openings in the northern, eastern and southern faces of the mausoleum, each of which is covered by decorative ironwork, but only those on the eastern face are accessible as gates. Each elevation is flanked by column shafts cut into the quoins. The interior of the mausoleum is largely overgrown but several memorial stones to the Dalgleish family are on the back (western) wall.

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