Old Parish Church (Ruins), Prestwick, Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland,
St Nicholas (in ruins)
Correctly known as Prestwick Old Parish Church, this ruined building is surrounded by an ancient graveyard, containing the remains of Knights Templars. The structure is believed to date from the 12th century, with square windows inserted during the 18th century.
The roofless ruin of this mediaeval parish church (dedicated to St Nicholas) stands within its walled burial-ground on a slight knoll close to the shore 250m NNE of Prestwick railway station. It is gable-ended and rectangular on plan, measuring 13.15m by 6.05m within walls 1m thick. The gables are buttressed; that on the W rises from a chamfered ground-course and that on the E (to which a belfry was added) has an offset at the height of the main wall-head, where there is a chamfered eaves course. Opposed doorways, with arch-pointed heads, are situated towards the W end of the two long walls. Blocked openings include two windows at the E end of the two long walls and another in the E gable. Two moulded capitals incorporated in the blocking appear to be of 13th century date and it is probable that the existing building was erected at this period. During the 18th century two windows were inserted in the S wall. Between 1165 and 1172 the church was granted by Walter FitzAlan to the Monastery at Paisley, and during the late 16th century the parish was united with Monkton; the church continued in use until 1779.
Old Statistical Account 1794; New Statistical Account 1845.
It was in still use in 837, when the walls were repaired, and the churchyard has burials as recent as the 1950s.
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