Coldingham Priory was the subject of a talk by Scottish Borders Council archaeologist Dr Chris Bowles at the latest Tillvas meeting.
Dr Bowles told his audience that before the priory was built a previous building existed on a site known as Kirk-Hill, commonly called the Brugh, on the St Abbs headland, and St Cuthbert is believed to have spent time there. The abbey burned down in the late 600s and its replacement was attacked by vikings.
It is thought the abbey moved to its existing location in Coldingham around 1100 and was occupied by a community of nuns.
The original name of Coldingham was Colud-ingas-ham and Bede referred to it as Colud’s Fort. King Edgar of Scotland granted land at Coldingham to the church of Durham in 1098 and a church was built shortly afterwards. Part of this building is still used as the parish church of Coldingham.
The lands belonging to the monastery expanded to include a large part of Berwickshire.
Excavations have unearthed carved stones, a post-medieval buckle, spoon and musket ball, and long kist burials have been found along Fishers Brae.
A Border Heritage Festival dig is planned for September 2017.