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Ednam Village
The heart of the village


We know from the records in the Treasury in Durham Cathedral that a church was built in Ednam between the years of 1097 and 1107 and that Thor Longus was the founder. When King Edgar was succeeded by his brother David, Thor Longus, in his charter, wrote to David in 1107 "With the king's help and my own money I laid the foundations......"

The original foundations are not visible today but are believed te exist under the foundations of the present church.The church was also given an endowment of land as part of the minister's stipend. The boundaries of that land which measured one ploughgate (104acres) are unknown though at the time they would have been clearly defined. Thor and King Edgar dedicated the church to St. Cuthbert and soon the church and its lands were chartered to the Prior of Coldingham Abbey. The religion was Roman Catholicism

Because the church of Ednam had extensive, desirable lands other churches began to challenge Ednam's right to them. One such contestant was the Chapel in Nenthorn which began to encroach on these lands. This dispute was eventually referred to the Bishop who ruled as follows:

Ednam church was declared the Mother Church caring for Stichill, Nenthorn and Newtown.

The chapel at Nenthorn was permitted to have Mass celebrated there three days per week,and on the Nativity of Christ, on the Purification, as well as in Passion week.

On St. Cuthbert's Day, however, Mass was to be celebrated in the Mother Church

If these conditions were not adhered to the right to have Mass in Nenthorn would cease until the matter was resolved with the Mother Church.

Everything was settled and the spiritual needs of the people were served for many years, until 1560, by the Monks.


The Reformation in 1560 brought radical changes to the church ; the priests left and Masses stopped. It was 39 years later before Ednam had a resident minister again. In the meantime, however, the people were served by men called Readers who often administered to serveral parishes. These readers conducted the weekly Sabbath services and administered the sacraments as required.

1n 1599 the first permanent minister was Thomas Porteous

1617 saw thw arrival of John Clapperton M.A. who was a supporter of the Liturgy and the Bishops. Troubled times followed and when the Covenant was signed in 1638 bishops were deposed and Mr Clapperton was "outed ". King Charles intervened and the presbytery was forced to delay their proposed induction John Somerville M.A. to Ednam and Rev John Clapperton was duly reinstated until 1639 when John Somerville's induction did take place.

In 1660 John Somerville and 11 elders were deposed and replaced by Robert Young. Once again Presbyterianism ended.

1668 Adam Peacock was Robert Young's successor although the people still wanted the Covenant.

1683 still in Episcopal tradition came William Speed M.A.

1688 When William of Orange and Mary came to the throne William Speed, realising his term would come to an end decided to leave and for two years Ednam had no minister. Once Presbyterianism was finally established the church in Ednam again had a resident minister. The church had a large input in the running of the community and also in the education of the children. Since the time of the Reformation there was a school in Ednam but there are no records of this school until 1620. The Monks would have kept record but these were lost when the monasteries were destroyed. The minister, together with the schoolmaster, played important roles in the area.

Now in 21st Century Sunday Service is still held in Ednam Church though there is no longer a minister resident in the village. Kelso North Parish Church and Ednam have combined and the minister for Kelso, Mr McDonald, serves Ednam Parish. Most of the ministers of Ednam are buried in the "Kirkyaird" but all except three are in unmarked graves.



The graveyard is still in use and some headstones date back to mid 18th Century

  1599   Thomas Porteous   1617  
  1617   John Clapperton   1639  
  1639   John Somerville   1660  
  1661   Robert Young   1668  
  1669   Adam Peacock   1683  
  1683   William Speed   1689  
  1692   Thomson   1700  
  1702   Baxter   1722  
  1723   Thomas Pollok   1764  
  1765   David Dickson   1795  
  1796   Robert Robertson   1819  
  1819   Joseph Thomson   1844  
  1844   William Lamb   1877  
  1878   John Burleigh   1924  
  1925   William Scott
(Kelso St John's- Edenside and Ednam united in 1952
  1952   John S McBride   1969  
  1970   Donald R. Gaddes   1994  

(Kelso St John´s- Edenside and Ednam linked with Sprouston from 1974 to 1980)
(Kelso St John´s- Edenside and Ednam united with Kelso Trinity North in 1980 to form Kelso North and Ednam)
(Kelso North and Ednam linked with Sprouston 1981 to 1990)

  1994   Tom McDonald   Retired for health reasons 2016 and now awaiting new appointment  
  2005   In October 2005 the 900th anniversary of the Ednam Church was celebrated. Click Here for link   grave  
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