St Mary's Kirkyard

History & Heritage
One of the most atmospheric settings in the Yarrow Valley

About St Mary's Kirkyard

The site of an ancient place of worship with a fine view over St Mary’s Loch. Today only the gravestones remain of St Mary’s of the Lowes - ‘the Kirk in the Forest’. The kirk itself has vanished entirely
Kirk of St Mary's of the Lowes is well worth the 300 yard climb. This ancient burial place appears in several of the
Border Ballads, usually in sorrowful circumstances.
"Lord William was buried in St Maries Kirk
Lady Margret in Maries quire;
Out o the lady's grave grew a bonnie red rose
And out o the knights a brier "
The Douglas Tragedy
Some claim that this is the Kirk in the Forest where William Wallace was proclaimed Guardian of Scotland. Records show that there was a place of worship here as early as 1275. Family names include Scott, Kerr, Bryden, Linton, Pringle and others.

To commemorate the determination of the persecuted Covenanters of the 17th century to maintain their beliefs, an annual ‘blanket preaching’ still takes place at the end of July within the kirkyard. This recalls the days when the outlawed Covenanters were forced to hold their acts of worship out of doors in secluded places.

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