Sunday 19 September 2021

Fishwick Mortuary Chapel


Fishwick Mortuary Chapel is a derelict chapel situated on a small hill overlooking the River Tweed. The chapel and graveyard are surrounded by trees and undergrowth and completely hidden from view. Sitting on the opposite bank of the river to the village of Horncliffe. it is not easily accessible and can only be reached from the Union Chain Bridge when the undergrowth along the river bank has died down and the cows are not present.

The chapel sits on the site of an old 12th century church which once served the medieval village of Fishwick. The "mansion of Fishwick" is recorded in charters of the 11th and 12th centuries and the village is recorded in a survey of the lands of Coldingham Priory in 1300. However, excavations at the site have unearthed a pot from the Beaker era and a skeleton, dating from around 2400 BC indicating the presence of ancient settlements. In 1614 the parish of Fishwick united with Hutton and the village slowly disappeared, leaving only the old church and graveyard. In 1835 the church was demolished and Mr James MacBraire, owner of the Broadmeadow Estate commissioned the building of a mortuary chapel on the site. The chapel was last used in 1914 on the death of Anna Macbraire before the estate was broken up and sold. 

Although only a few remnants of the old boundary wall still exist the graveyard is still accessed via an old iron gate. The ruins of the old chapel sit peacefully amid a copse of trees, surrounded by 17th century gravestones, the oldest of which dates back to 1614. Although the roof has collapsed and a tree has fallen into the centre of the chapel the walls, arched window and doorway are still intact, a silent reminder of days gone by.

Copse Of Trees Surrounding The Chapel

View Through The Gate From The Graveyard

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