Oxton, Berwickshire

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Oxton, Berwickshire
Grid reference: NT496535
Location: 55°46’20"N, 2°48’13"W
Postcode: TD2
Local Government
Council: Scottish Borders
Roxburgh and Selkirk

Oxton is a rural village in Lauderdale in Berwickshire. It is found just off the A68. The royal burgh of Lauder is 4½ miles to the south of the village.

Oxton is an ideal base from which to explore Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders. The village is 25 miles south east of the centre of Edinburgh, yet in a quiet rural position in which to fully appreciate the beauty of the Scottish Borders. With one of the main arterial routes between Scotland and England by-passing the village, Oxton keeps its charming rural image and feel to it.

The Tower Hotel is locally known as the "Toor" has a bar, restaurant and 3 rooms for accommodation. Opens under new ownership April 2013.


The village of Oxton, lies in the parish of Channelkirk, which name for the parish appears to have come into general use in the district around the beginning of the eighteenth century; its ancient name was Childer-kirk, though several variants appear in the records over the ages.

A Roman camp, visible from the air, has been identified nearby and may have been connected with the progress of the army of Septimus Severus in AD 209-210.

Saint Cuthbert, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne, was born here in AD635 and probably baptised his early converts at the nearby Holy Water Cleuch (spring). The village itself was called 'Ugston' for several hundred years and appears under that name as late as the 1841 census.

Channelkirk Parish Church

The parish church is Channelkirk Parish Church, which stands outside Oxton in a remte location to the north, apparently within the grounds of a Roman camp.

The church at Channelkirk is the oldest in Lauderdale, and it is known as the Mother Church of Lauderdale. It was founded between the 7th and 9th centuries. Hugh de Moreville of Lauderdale granted the church to the monks of Dryburgh Abbey in the 12th century and in 1230 King Alexander II granted a general confirmation to the abbey of all her churches, including Channelkirk, listed as Childinchurch. The Abbey held it until the Reformation.

Through the ages the church has been referred to as Childenchurch, Childeschirche, Childer-Kirk, Gingle-Kirk, Chingelkirk, Channonkirk and from 1716, Channelkirk. The name perhaps means "Church of the Child" and it is suggested that it is named after St Cuthbert. (On the church bell, which was taken down for repairs in 1990 is inscribed CHANNON KIRK 1702.)

Nothing remains of the ancient Northumbrian church. The church by Norman times was cruciform and in 1627 was partly a ruin. In the course of its history the church appears to have been several times rebuilt, repaired and enlarged. In 1653, 10,000 divots were used in thatching it, and again in 1724 it was repaired with slates brought from Dundee. By 1814 the church had become so dilapidated from wind and weather that the minister refused to conduct worship until the heritors, the landed proprietors then responsible for its upkeep, agreed to build a new one.

The present building dates from 1817. Along with the Manse, garden and southern portion of the Glebe it stands within the site of an important camp or fort, said to have been Roman but now nearly obliterated. The style of architecture of the present church has been described as perpendicular Gothic. The doors are finished with Tudor arches, the windows with divided mullions and transoms of stone. The belfry at the west end of the roof houses the church bell inscribed ‘For Channonkirk 1702’, still rung before service every Sunday. To the left of the pulpit is a brass tablet listing the succession of ministers. To the right is a memorial to the men of the parish who died in the two World Wars.


Outside links

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about Oxton, Berwickshire)