Panbride Church

Panbride Church

Panbride Church Exterior

The original parish church of Panbride which stood on the same beautiful setting and commanding position on the summit of Panbride hamlet as the present one does, dates from the time of William the Lion 1147. Already dedicated to St. Bridget, commonly called St. Bride, it gave its name to the locality afterwards designated the Parish of Panbride.

Confirmation of the gift of our church was made by the king in 1211 and 1214 and our church continued in the possession of Arbroath Abbey till the secularisation of the Abbey at the time of the Reformation.
The building we use today is not the original church, which was a fine cruciform building with large beautiful windows. The passage of time had such effect that it was decided in 1851 to erect the present church of the same form and on the same site, and this was carried out by the honourable William Ramsay Maule, sole heritor of the parish.

Collage of Panbride Church

Collage of Panbride Church

One part of the old church is still with us – the burial vault of the Panmure family with, above it, what used to be the vestry and is now a general meeting room. This is at the east end of the church from which it used to be entered. The older vault which had existed for centuries, was replaced by the present one in 1681, the date being legible on the small open spire. The Rt. Hon. Fox Maule had the unfulfilled intention of building a spire or tower.

The museum of the church contains many interesting exhibits and outside are the ‘Jougs’, now attached to the south wall of the vault, a crude iron collar used to punish certain breaches of the church discipline. The Loupin’ Stane, opposite the gateway of the churchyard, is a relic of the time when the lady of the house was usually perched on a pillion or saddle behind her husband; the fine toned bell which once belonged to the Parish Church of Arbroath, dated 1664 and inscribed in Latin “For the sole glory of God John Burgeburys made me. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”; and the most treasured possession of the church, three very old Communion Cups of silver dated 1660 – 1670. They are inscribed round the top rim of the bowl “Given by George, Earl of Panmuir and Jeanne Campbell, Countess of Panbride, to the Church of Panbride”. The stem and the foot of the cup is all in one piece and there are only two examples of this English style in Scotland – at Panbride and Lauder. There is also a silver communion cup inscribed “This cup ordered to be made by ye Kirk Session of Panbride and Mr Robert Trail, Minister 1734”.

The parish of Panbride is almost unique in its record of family ministries. Between 1716 to 1938 there were two families of minister; grandfather, father and son Trail (1716 – 1843) and father and son Caesar (1851 – 1938).

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