Monday 6 August 2018


Coldingham Village
Coldingham is a small village in the Scottish Borders about 2 miles north of the town of Eyemouth and 1.5 miles from the fishing village of St Abbs. This quaint village houses the remains of Coldingham Priory, which was an important ecclesiastical establishment and is a short walk from Coldingham Sands, a beautiful sandy beach situated in Coldingham Bay.

The village name means the descendants of Colod. Colod possibly refers to a finger of rock that sticks out into the sea at the base of Kirk Hill on St Abbs Head. Kirk Hill became known as Colod's Fort, where St Ebbe was in charge of a monastery. When the monastery burnt down in 683 the local people moved to a fertile piece of land nearby. The name Colod came with them and the village became known as Coldingahm, descendants of Colod. 

Before any buildings were constructed in St Abbs (formerly known as Coldingham Shore) the fishermen who worked their boats there lived at Fisher's Brae in Coldingham and walked the one and a half miles carrying their fishing gear along a path that is now known as "the Creel Path". 

Coldingham Sands
Coldingham Priory
In 660 AD it was recorded that Ethelrida, the Queen of Egfrid became a nun at the Abbey of Coldingham. The abbey was under the management of Aebbe the elder and was described as the "monastery of virgins". In 870  the abbey was destroyed by a party of Danes and was not rebuilt. It was not until 1098 that it was rebuilt into a priory.  In 1560 at the time of the Scottish reformation the priory was partially destroyed and in 1650 was almost totally destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's army. It was not rebuilt and the remains of the great tower finally collapsed in about 1777. In 1855 the ruins of about 40% of the original priory church was reconstructed and used in the parish church on the same site.  All that remains today is a grand arch and remains of the cloisters and other monastic buildings.

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