St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church in Dalkeith to close

Wednesday November 22nd 2023

St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church

St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church in Dalkeith.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Katie Gregory

The Presbytery of Lothian and Borders has decided to close the church of St Nicholas Buccleuch within the next two to three years. This means the church building, halls, cotttage and coffee shop will all be sold or otherwise disposed of.

The congregation is disappointed with this decision because the church has served as a backdrop for significant family and community events. For many Dalkeith residents, it has always been there, and its influence has been felt for many generations.

A small group have began to strategise about the long-term future of the church and surrounding buildings. One way to preserve the site for Midlothian residents would be a community buyout. If successful, this would guarantee that the community and it’s organisations could continue to use this space in the centre of Dalkeith. The church building has the potential to host a variety of functions; including weddings, funerals, concerts, community meetings and conferences.

The other buildings do not have the same rating as the church building, which is grade A listed and will remain intact. The highest designation a building in Scotland can have, category A listing, designates the property as having “national architectural or historical importance.”

St Nicholas has a rich architectural history that dates back to 1420, when it was completed. Once constructed, its slepndour was visible to everyone in Dalkeith and stood in stark contrast to the homes nearby. Its historical significance is also undeniable, given King James VI’s visits. It was also rumoured that James, the fourth Earl of Morton and custodian of Dalkeith Castle, was executed there on the Kings orders.

The buyout is still in its early stages; the next step is to determine whether the community would be interested in seeing the idea developed further. A public meeting to discuss this will take place on Thursday, December 7th, at 7pm in the St. Nicholas Buccleuch Paris Church. If you have an interest in preserving these buildings for community use, go along and have your say.

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