The Cross Kirk

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the cross kirk in peebles scottish borders

Fragments of bone were discovered buried underneath the cyst in 1924, leading archaeologists to believe this was St Nicholas’ grave.

The Cross Kirk, Peebles | Scottish Borders

The Cross Kirk was founded when a stone urn, containing what was believed to be the relics of St Nicholas, was discovered on the site. A fine cross was also discovered, and the site was soon associated with miracles.

Alexander III paid for the first church on the site. It housed the cross and shrine of the saint and remained a pilgrimage centre until the 17th century.

The English set fire to the Cross Kirk in 1549, but it was later repaired. The church was abandoned and unroofed in 1784, and by 1811 much of the south wall had fallen.

Fragments of bone were discovered buried underneath the cyst in 1924, leading archaeologists to believe this was St Nicholas’ grave!

The Cross Kirk is fenced in, so it’s the perfect ruin to explore with children or a dog. Angus loved running around the ruin, sniffing every nook and cranny, while I admired the massive structure from every angle. The Cross Kirk is one of my favourite hidden gems in Scotland, and a great site to photograph.

Who was St Nicholas?

St Nicholas of Myrna was an early Christian Bishop from [what is now] Turkey.

He was alive in the early 300s during the time of the Roman Empire.

He was known for his piety and charity, and after his death many miracles became associated with him. He is the patron saint of sailors, children, wolves and pawnbrokers. And yes- this is the same St Nicholas that was the inspiration for Father Christmas! 

So now you can wow your friends with the fact that the real St Nick is buried in Peebles in Scotland! But maybe don’t say anything if there are any children around…

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