St Martin's Kirk, Haddington, is on the
eastern side of Bullet Loan, about fifty metres south of the
junction with St Martin's Gate. The oldest standing building in
Haddington today, albeit not fully intact, the church is thought to
have been built in the early 1100s. It seemingly stands just within
the western gateway of the precinct of St Mary's Cistercian
Nunnery (founded about 1155, and therefore developed around the
church), but which was ended by the Reformation.
Seton Collegiate Church, Port Seton, is on
the north-east flank of Seton Castle, and to the north of the A198
road. Collegiate churches are so called because they housed a
college, or community, of priests. The religious leaders would be
brought together by the local landowner to pray for his and his
family's salvation. Seton is one of the finest medieval collegiate
churches to survive in Scotland. In this case the local landowner
was Lord Seton, with the church serving his family.
It was the 1100s when this site was chosen for
a new church to serve the parish. In the 1400s it was increasingly
used as the private place of worship and burial vault for the local
landowners, the Seton family. The first Lord Seton set up the
college of priests in 1470, but the Reformation put paid to the
church being used for masses for the souls of the Setons. For a
while it was a parish kirk, but it fell out of use after Seton
parish was merged with Tranent in 1580.
The Chapel of St Baldred, Bass Rock, lies
immediately to the north-west of the former castle at the southern
end of the isle. After living a life of contemplation and austerity,
St Baldred died on Bass Rock in March AD 606. A small, (probably)
single cell chapel supposedly existed on the island, traditionally
on this spot where this replacement chapel was erected much later,
in the sixteenth century. It is a plain, rectangular stone
construction measuring 9.3m long by 6.3m wide.
The historical evidence suggests that the chapel
was 'newly erected' in 1492. It was consecrated and dedicated to St
Baldred as a parish church in 1542, possibly following a rebuild.
Details of its existence are sketchy, but it is thought to have
remained in use until the Reformation in the same century, after
which it was abandoned. In 1677 the Bass garrison was using it as an
ammunition store. There was a loft at the western end (the farther
All photos on this page kindly contributed by
Douglas Law via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles'
Flickr group. Additional information by Douglas Law.