Abbey St Bathans


"A parish in Berwickshire, situated in the midst of the Lammermuir hills, about 6½ miles in length, and 3 in breadth. The soil is light and dry, and, on the banks of the Whittader, fertile and well cultivated; but the hilly district is barren, and covered with heath. Here are the remains of the ancient abbey of Bernardines, founded in 1170, for which Ada Countess of March swore fealty to Edward I of England, in 1296. The Earl of Wemyss has lately built an elegant sporting villa, called the retreat, about a mile from the small kirkton of Abbay. Population in 1801, 138."

From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.



See Abbey St Bathans by James Logan Mack, published at Edinburgh in 1925.



Pre-1855 inscriptions for the parish are contained in the Scottish Genealogy Society's volume of Berwickshire Monumental Inscriptions (Pre-1855).

Nigel Hardie has transcribed and published parish of Abbey St Bathans mortcloth records for 1755-1760.

Presbyterian / Unitarian
Abbey St Bathans, Church of Scotland


Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Abbey St Bathans, Church of Scotland

Church History

A 19th century account of the history of Abbey St Bathans parish can be read online.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1715. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the National Records of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).


Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the National Records of Scotland website.


Description & Travel

The Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl and Preston Community Council website includes some historical and geographical links.

You can see pictures of Abbey St Bathans which are provided by:





Ordnance Survey maps covering Abbey St Bathans include:

  • Landranger 67: Duns, Dunbar & Eyemouth area - scale 1:50000, or 1.25inch:1mile, or 2cm:1km
  • Pathfinder 422: Abbey St Bathans - scale 1:25000, or 2.5inch:1mile, or 4cm:1km

Abbey St Bathans is also covered by an old Victorian one-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map published by Caledonian Maps. The relevant sheet is sheet number 34 "Eyemouth" which also includes Burnmouth, Chirnside, Cockburnspath, Coldingham, Edrom, Foulden, Grantshouse, Preston and St Abb's Head.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT765625 (Lat/Lon: 55.855436, -2.376688), Abbey St Bathans which are provided by:



Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:

  • 1755 - 80
  • 1775 - 145
  • 1801 - 138
  • 1811 - 154
  • 1821 - 150
  • 1831 - 122
  • 1851 - 155
  • 1861 - 179
  • 1871 - 195
  • 1881 - 250
  • 1891 - 193
  • 1901 - 213
  • 1911 - 229
  • 1921 - 203
  • 1931 - 169
  • 1951 - 149
  • 1961 - 125
  • 1971 - 109