11.2.  Kingledores Chapel. (Just outside Tweedsmuir Parish)

During the reign of Alexander II (1214-1244) a charter by Sir Simon Fraser of Oliver gave a right of way to the Monks of Melrose through the lands of of Mospennoe (Mossfennan) to reach their lands of Hopecarthen on the other side of the Tweed   This charter allowed the access of horses/oxen (latin - averiis) cattle and carriages (latin - caraigia).  In a further charter granted a few years later another Simon Fraser confirmed to the Church in Melrose... the whole land of South Kinglidores, together with the Chapel of St. Cuthbert of Kinglidoris, and also the land of Hopecarthen, to be possessed by them as freely as they had enjoyed the same under Sir Simon Fraser, his disceased father.  By another charter Fraser gave to the monks free passage for their carriages, leading through the land of Haprew, with their four wheeled waggons and carts (plaustris et carectis) (1).  It is of interest that even to the present day access to Stanhope /Hopecarton is still through Mossfennan lands.

The RCAHMS have the site of a Medieval Farmstead at Hopecarton - ID 343138.  This could well be the site that the Monks of Melrose occupied as the base for their wool and hides activities.   The carriages and the four wheeled horse drawn carts mentioned in the above charters would be for the transport of the fleeces to the market in Roxburgh for onward transport to the port at Berwick thence shipment to Flanders.  This was a major Scottish export at this time.  

Associated with Hopecarton (Hopecarthen) is probably Carterhope in the Fruid Valley.  Both have the same meaning - valley of the carts.   However Hopecarten has the noun first - named by a French speaker - a Cistercian Monk?  Carterhope was adjacent to the Fraser Castle at the head of the Fruid valley hence important to the Frasers.  However the head of the Fruid valley had been involved in sheep farming centuries before as evidenced by the remains of a Shieling beside the Fruid Water.(2)(3)  More about Carterhope in the section on page 11.1 Fruid Chapel and Burial Ground.

The Melrose Monk would not have named the Chapel of St. Cuthbert at Kinledores or the one at Fruid themselves, they would have inherited the name along with the Chapels.  There is regrettably no vestige remaining of this Chapel at Kingledores but we do know that it was in South Kingledores ie south of the Kingledores burn and is shown on Blaeu's map of 1654 - see Origins of Crook name page. This location is confirmed by the Royal Commission for the Ancient Monuments for Scotland (RCAHMS) and recorded on their online archive Canmore as ID 49765

Around 1200 it is recorded that there was a hermit monk named Crispin who resided at Kingledores.(1)  St Cuthbert is not mentioned at this time so the chapel must have been dedicated to that Saint between 1200 and the arrival of the Cistercian Monks from Melrose Abbey later in the thirteenth century.   Glenholm Kirk and also Drumelzier were dedicated to St. Cuthbert around this time.  


1)  Renwick,Robert; Historical Notes on Peeblesshire Localities, Watson & Smyth, Peebles, 1897. pp228-229 and pp301-302 for Melrose Charters. p for Crispin.

2)  Ward, Tam; Tweeddale Scottish Borders (Broughton, Glenholm & Kilbucho, Drumelzier, Tweedsmuir Parish Survey, Discovering Excav. Scot, Biggar, 2000. p75.

3)  Biggar Archaeology Group; Fruid, Shielings and Buchts in Southern Scotland, Biggar. Fig 10 &p11.