The parish of Lempitlaw, which was at one time a separate parish, was joined with that of Sprouston at an unknown date. The church is now gone, though indents in the ground within the graveyard show its original location. The last vestiges of the church appear to have disappeared by 1845, but it is recorded that shortly before this some ruins were still to be seen. At that time, the parish of Spouston was the property of the Duke of Roxburgh, but the barony of Lempitlaw was the property of the Duke of Buccleuch. A coped, tegulated grave cover survives in the churchyard near the site of the church.
Lempitlaw is not mentioned in the Inquisitio of the diocese of Glasgow, undertaken sometime between 1115 and 1124, but it was granted, with all its teinds, to the hospital at Soutra between 1221 and 1238 by Richard Germyne. In 1460, along with Soutra, the church was united with Trinity College in Edinburgh. In 1463, Lempitlaw and several other places were made into a free barony in favour of David Scott of Kirkurd.
The coped grave cover is not in its original position and has suffered considerable damage in the past. Although now weather worn, as well, one can see that the two long sides are carved with three rows of rectangular-shaped tiling, with what appears to have been a roll moulding along the top spine. Both ends have missing sections of stone, and the exact nature of their original forms is difficult to determine. One end, however, is wider than the other and the top spine appears to taper towards the narrower end. The lower section of the grave cover is presently below ground.
|Width of narrower end||0.29 m|
|Width of wider end||0.32 m|
The Bannatyne Club, Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol. 1, Edinburgh 1851, 443-5.
I. Cowan, The Medieval Parishes of Scotland, Edinburgh 1967, 129.
G. Craig, ‘Parish of Spouston’, The New Statistical Accounts of Scotland: Roxburgh - Peebles - Selkirk, Vol. 3, Edinburgh and London 1845, 237-40.
Cruft, K., Dunbar, J. and Fawcett, R., The Buildings of Scotland: Borders, New Haven and London 2006, 494.
A. Jeffrey, The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire, Vol. 3, Edinburgh 1859, 204-5.
A. Jeffrey, The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire, Vol. 4, Edinburgh 1864, 294.
J. Laing, 'Hogback Monuments in Scotland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 105, Edinburgh 1975, 206-35.
Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments Scotland, An Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Roxburghshire, Vol. 2, Edinburgh 1956, 433.