Simpson & Brown Architects with Addyman Archaeology

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St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

Elevations of the church used in the interpretation exhibition

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

Detail of one of the interpretative panels

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

The restored Alms Collection House with the interpretative exhibition installed

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

Sample panels for a younger audience, encouraging further exploration

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith

Detail of headstone with coded inscription

The site of St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church has been a place of worship since the 14th century, with parts of the current building dating to the 15th century.  When our project to repair stonework, to both the main church and the ruined apse, was nearing completion, we designed a small interpretative exhibition to be housed in a unique part of the site.  The Alms Collection House, adjacent to the main gate, is thought to be the only building of its kind: built specifically for the purpose of collecting alms.  Although in poor condition, we restored this tiny building and designed interpretation panels to be installed on the interior.  These were supplemented by a more detailed interpretation panel in the apse.

Whilst the main panel is designed to be enjoyed by all visitors, we also included three small panels at a lower height specifically for children, highlighting key features of the church to look out for, and a panel showing the ‘secret code’ inscribed on headstones in the burial ground.  Also included was a timeline that places the development of the church in the context of the development of the town of Dalkeith and key dates in Scottish history.