Between 1098 and 1107, the lands of Eiton (Ayton) were granted to the priory of Coldingham and, before the close of the 12th century, the monks had built a chapel dedicated to St Dionysius.
Now a ruin within the grounds of Ayton Kirkyard, this historic building was used as a meeting place by Scottish and English Commissioners to negotiate treaties between the two kingdoms in 1380, 1384 and 1487. After the Reformation, around 1627, the chapel became the Parish Church until it was replaced by the present Church in 1865.
As the years (and ivy) have taken their toll on the old building, a group of amateur Ayton historians wondered what could be done to preserve this iconic reminder of our heritage.
A public meeting held at the end of June attracted over 30 local people interested in finding out more about a proposal to uncover and preserve the ruins of St Dionysius.
Already accepted into the Adopt a Monument Scheme (which is funded by Historic Environment Scotland and run by Archaeology Scotland), support was given at the meeting to establishing the project under a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) called Ayton Heritage and this SCIO application is currently being processed.
If you are interested in finding out more about St Dionysius and the scope of the project, why not come along to Ayton Church Fete on Sunday, August 11 when there will be a stall with more information.
If you can’t be there but want to be involved, please contact Bill Black, Chair of the Ayton Heritage trustees, on 018907 81427