On my way back from Rosslyn Chapel to Galashiels, I made a little stop in Peeples, a lovely town in the Scottish Borders. Originally a market town Peebles played an important role in the woollen industry of the Borders during the 19th and early-20th centuries. But the mills closed down in the mid-1960s and most people work in and around Edinburgh or in tourism.
I made my way from the High Street towards Cross Kirk, an ancient holy site standing in a slightly wooded enclosure in a quiet residential area near the centre of Peebles.
Founded by the Trinitarian order in the late 1100s. In 1261 a cross and relics of St Nicholas of Myrna were discovered hidden here. It is unknown how the relics made their way to Scotland but after the discovery, a few miracles happened. As a result, a priory was founded by the king and in 1474 increased to that of a monastery with a new bell tower.
The Reformation of 1560 brought an end to Cross Kirk’s existence as a monastery and thereafter it served as the parish kirk, replacing St Andrew’s Church, which had been burned down by the English in 1548. In 1656 the church was shortened, with the old choir being turned into a schoolroom. (Undiscovered Scotland)
But a new parish church was built and Cross Kirk was abandoned in 1784. The domestic buildings had been dismantled for the stones and in the late 1800s, Cross Kirk was described as a ruin.
Today the Historic Environment of Scotland cares for Cross Kirk and it is free to visit all year round.
I made my way back towards the centre of Pebbles.
On the way, I came by a chocolate café and shop called “Cocoa Black” and run by UK World Chocolate Master Ruth Hinks and definitely worth a visit. The dark hot chocolate was amazing!
The old parish church in the back on the other side of the river and (below) the view over Pebbles from the church.
Back at the High Street, I spend the time until my bus came with strolling around the local shops.