Plans drawn up to convert former church near Kelso into home

The old Eckford parish church.
The old Eckford parish church.

The proposed conversion of a former church dating back, in parts, to the 13th century would be a labour of love for a joiner from Mellerstain, near Gordon.

Plans have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council to transform the old Eckford parish church, midway between Jedburgh and Kelso, into a three-bedroom family home.

The applicant is Jim Brand, from Gordon, a master craftsman with over 30 years’ experience of restoring architectural joinery in listed buildings.

Mr Brand intends to move into the former church with his wife and daughter and make it their family home.

A report to the council from Greenlaw architect Keith Renton says: “Jim recently returned to Scotland and has established a joinery conservation business.

“Jim and his family fell in love with the church. The conversion and conservation of the church is an ideal project for Jim which has the potential to make an exciting new family home.”

Much of the original church interior is intact, including its pews, but they would be removed to create a bedroom area.

The last service held at the church took place in May 2006, bringing to an end eight centuries of worship there.

The church, on the buildings at risk register, was sold off by the Church of Scotland over two years ago.

That decision was taken as it was only used twice a year and repairs needed to maintain it were regarded as not being cost-effective.

The church was largely built from 1665 to 1668 but stands on the site of a much earlier building gifted to Jedburgh Abbey in the early 13th century.