The Old Peebles Old

Though the present church was opened in 1887, the Parish Church of Peebles has, through the centuries, occupied at least four previous buildings.

The second Church, on the same site as the first, was dedicated to St.Andrew by Bishop Joceline of Glasgow in 1195 during the reign of William the Lyon. It was burned by the English in 1549 at the same time as the destruction of the Border Abbeys. Only the tower now remains, along with a fragment of wall.


At the Reformation in 1560 the Parish Church moved to an existing church building, known today as the Cross Kirk. The Church of the Holy Cross had been founded by Alexander III in 1261. It is John of Fordun, writing in 1385, who tells of its origin: “On the ninth day of May, 1261, in the thirteenth year of King Alexander, a stately and venerable cross was found at Peebles . . . It is believed that it was hidden by some of the faithful about the year of our Lord 296 while Maximian’s persecution was raging throughout the land.

The first, dedicated to St. Mungo, was built 1500 years ago and had Kirk Lands in excess of 100 acres. It was first written about in 1116 when it was listed in the Inquest of the Elders of Cumbria. It was built within what is now a cemetery but no trace remains.

After the cross was discovered, Peebles became a place of pilgrimage and the King ordered the erection of a Church on the spot. In 1473, James III founded a monastery round it – the Monastery of the Order of Trinity Friars. It was this Church that became the Parish Church at the Reformation in 1560 and remained so until 1783, when its ruinous condition made a move essential.

Peebles Church circa 1885

The Parish Church then moved to a site on Castle Hill and was opened in 1784 where it remained until its closure and demolition in 1885. The present Church on the same site was dedicated on 29th March, 1887.