1.3.1.c Church Door Spy-Hole.

The door of the present Tweedsmuir Church has a spy-hole looking out comprising of a small hole with a glass magnifing lens.  Why on earth would a church require such a device? 

My view is that this is a symbolic gesture back to the seventeenth century Covenanting era.   It is to remind us that there was a period when the residents of Tweedsmuir, including the Elders and the Minister, were always in danger of being raided by Government Dragoons led by John Graham of Claverhouse.

More about this period on page 9 Tweedsmuir and the Covenanters.   Here there is a list of entries in the Tweedsmuir Kirk Session Records that give an idea of the difficulties at that time.   One of these entries states "The collection this day to be given to a man for acting as watch during the time of the sermon."   So was it at this time that a spy-hole was cut in the door of the church for a watcher to be on the look out during sermons?

This hole must have still been evident in the church door in 1874.   This was the date that the church was pulled down and a new Parish Church built on the same footprint.   The minister at this time was the Rev John Dick who must have recognised the origin of the spy hole and had a spy-hole installed on the new door of the new Kirk to perpetuate this symbolism of the sufferings of the Covenanting era?  It is unlikely that the current doors are those that the Rev Dick witnessed being installed as the doors were probably replaced by the Rev. W. S. Crocket when the war memorial was installed in the foyer in 1920.   The timber for the memorial came from an oak tree at Abbotsford.   New doors were probably made of the same material.   In any event the Rev. Crockett must have been aware of the symbolism of the spy-hole in the doors that he was replacing and had a new spy-hole inserted into the new doors that we see today.