Repair work to start on historic Selkirk kirk

Two men walk through a kirkyard.

Published: Monday, 12th February 2018

Work will start on the Auld Kirk ruin in Selkirk this week which will enable it to reopen to the public.

The building is identified as a priority repair project as part of the Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) and the repairs to some of the walls of the historic kirk will be funded through the CARS programme.

At the end of last year a small area of the building collapsed, and for safety reasons it was closed to the public.

Works expected to last around seven weeks

As well as rebuilding this area, the upcoming works, which should be complete by the end of March and will be undertaken by specialist local contractors, will target other areas needing urgent repair. Traditional hot lime mortar will be used to point the walls and self-seeding foliage around the walls will also be removed.

A separate package of works to re-erect some of the headstones within the graveyard is being investigated by the Kirk O’ The Forest Heritage Group, a local community group formed to promote enhancement and understanding of this key heritage asset for the town.

Selkirk CARS Project Officer Colin Gilmour

“With Selkirk CARS drawing to a close it is great to see so much activity in the town with repairs and improvements to many historic buildings which will secure them for many years to come.

“The repairs to the Auld Kirk have long been a priority for the programme and it is wonderful to finally see the hard work of many people bear fruit. The impact of the repairs to the Auld Kirk is even more satisfying as the package of works will hopefully allow the gates to the ruin to be reopened, providing both members of the local community and tourists safe access to this historic site.”

Links to William Wallace

In 2016 a geophysics study of the Auld Kirk uncovered what appeared to be the underground remains of a medieval church where William Wallace was likely to have been made Guardian of Scotland in 1297.

Our archaeologist Dr Chris Bowles commissioned the survey by the University of Durham in conjunction with Selkirk CARS.

More information on Selkirk CARS

Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) is a partnership project developed along with the community-based Selkirk CARS Steering Group.

Funding was successfully obtained from Historic Environment Scotland in January 2013. The project will run until 31 March 2018.

Selkirk CARS is focused on a range of heritage and conservation-based regeneration activities within the town centre over a five year period. The project has an overall budget of just over £1million, funded by Historic Environment Scotland (£795,000) and ourselves (£215,000).