Erected on the site of the older Kirkmadrine Church, is a mortuary chapel in memory of the MacTaggart Stewarts of Ardwell.
A 19th Century, Romanesque style burial chapel now stands on the site of what is thought to be, one of the earliest Christian communities in Scotland.
Situated in the South Rhins of Galloway on the western tip of the Scottish borders, the Kirkmadrine burial chapel was built for Lady MacTaggart Stewart of Ardwell and during its construction, older stones which date back to the 5th Century AD were discovered.
These stones have been housed in a glass fronted porch and are referred to as the “Kirkmadrine Stones“.
Inside the locked chapel, glimmers of light from a deteriorating door and the partly boarded, small stained glass windows, show the feint outline of stone tablets set into the floor.
The first tablet in memory of Edward Orde MacTaggart Stewart of Ardwell, 2nd Baronet of Southwich and his wife Margaret. Elder daughter of the 3rd Baron and Baroness of Donington.
The second tablet is dedicated to the Right Honorable Archibald Patrick Thomas, 17th Baron of Borthwick.
The third tablet belongs to Lady Marianne Susanna MacTaggart Stewart of Ardwell.
More tablets lie out of view within the chapel.
An elaborate arch leads to an area which seems to house an old wooden pulpit, surrounded by a beautifully tiled floor.
The full inscriptions of these tablets can be found on the Ardwell Church website commemorating family burials between 1849 and 1998.
Outside the chapel, on a grass mound, stands another memorial to older MacTaggart family members.
The tall column has ornate decoration and an inscription which reads;
In memory of John McTaggart Esquire of Ardwell who died October 18th 1810 age 54 and was buried in the church yard of Kirkgowan.
Also of his wife Susan Dean who died January 24th 1891 and was buried in the Abbey church of St. Alban’s Herefordshire.
Also of Sir John McTaggart Baron of Ardwick who died August 13th 1867 age 78 also his wife Susannah Rymer who died December 2nd 1864 age 79.
Ardwell Church website – Inscriptions from the Kirkmadrine chapel tablets.
Heritage and History – Kirkmadrine Stones
Mull of Galloway website – About Ardwell Village.
Scottish Places – Overview of Ardwell House