The village of Spott stands on the northernmost edge of the Lammermuir Hills and just over two miles south of Dunbar. It is also less than a mile west of the site of the Northumbrian dark age homestead at Doon Hill, and it is tempting to suggest a continuity of settlement in the immediate area that dates back at least 1500 years.
Spott Parish Church stands towards the north east end of the village. It is a traditional T-plan kirk, harled in greyish brown, with the arms pointing east, west and north. The church you see today was built in 1790, then renovated just 19 years later in 1809 by John Mason of Spott. The basic shape of the church is concealed by an aisle which seems to project to its south. This is a burial aisle dating back to the 1600s which was originally attached to the church replaced by the one you see today.
You enter through a porch added in 1848, on the outside of which is hung a set of jougs, an iron collar that in a slightly earlier era would have held miscreants who had offended against church law. Inside what you find is a remarkably well preserved, if fairly austere, kirk. The pulpit is placed mid way along the south wall and is thought to date back to the mid 1700s, so would presumably have been in use here in the predecessor church. It is the most highly decorated item on view and comes complete with a sounding board supported on Corinthian columns.
The three arms of the church are occupied by box pews, all of which face towards the pulpit. The aim of this style of church was to ensure that the congregation had as few distractions as possible and might therefore pay more attention to the message of the preacher. Today the interior is enlivened a little by a stained glass window in the end of the western arm of the church, but this is a fairly recent addition, being placed here to commemorate Marion Robertshaw MacLean, who died in 1956.
The graveyard demonstrates beyond doubt that an earlier church stood in the same location. A number of quite early gravestones are on view, including one so badly eroded it now has a hole right through it. Elsewhere a grave slab carries a metal plaque inscribed in Latin to William Orr, who died in 1769, and near the south wall of the graveyard a nicely carved cross remembers James Sprot of Spott and his wife Mary, who died in 1882 and 1881 respectively.
Visitor InformationView Location on Map