The 1891 Southwick Church
The old church in Southwick Graveyard
The original church was the present ruin in Southwick graveyard. The small dimensions, thickness of the walls, and plain stone construction suggest it may be the original 13th century building repaired and strengthened over several centuries.
The rectory of Southwick is mentioned in the Bagimond's Roll of 1275 where its tax value was £5. 6s. 8d. Edward 1 is recorded as visiting a religious site at Southwick dedicated to Our Lady the Virgin Mary in 1300. Southayk is mentioned several times during the 15th century as a religious living looked after by unnamed vicars.
A George Olizier is described as 'exhorter' and reader in 1573 followed by Thomas Buchanan, 1573 - 1585 and Archibald Sinclair, 1585 - 1612 after which James 1 united Souhtwick parish with Colvend. The last Session records date from the 1740's when the old church was abandoned.
The New Church in Southwick was built in 1891 on land gifted by the owner of the Southwick House Estate. Initially it acted as a sort of 'chapel of ease' for the parishioners at the eastern end of the united parishes, with services being conducted by the Colvend minister's assistant. Three years later in 1894 Southwick once again became an independent parish; with the new church acting as a focal point. Many of the people in the Mainsriddle area, who had once used the United Presbyterian Chapel, helped to swell the congregation. The newly built church was designed in an old Norman style of architecture, with architects Kinnear & Peddie involved from the outset. Local craftsmen were used and the granite sourced locally. The Romanesque apse and solid tower are very distinctive features. Stained glass windows were added at a later date.
Further details about the present church may be found at Sacred Scotland. Information about the graveyard may be found at War Graves.