The ruins of the church centre around a rectangular structure with N and S additions. Dates in the 16thc and 17thc for the primary post-Reformation additions have been suggested, but there is no surviving documentation concerning this work. Major construction on the the church is only first recorded for 1739-40, when certain renovations were carried out. Minor repair and maintenance is documented in succeeding decades, including for replastering in 1776, but no major construction is recorded after 1740. Following much consideration in the early 19thc about the cost of renovating the church, it was decided to rebuild on a completely different site. The new church was begun in 1818.
During the 1993 excavations, earlier activity beneath the church was found, but there was no evidence of a pre-Romanesque church. Foundations of the Romanesque church were discovered with a chamfered plinth beneath the N and S walls and for the original W wall, which was further E than at present. These showed that the first church was about half the length of the present structure.
Within the surviving nave walls of the church are reused stones from the Romanesque church. Other carved stonework, with roll mouldings, survive and are laid out in the E part of the church, now overgrown. There is also a single head of beakhead form built into the E exterior of the S extension.
There is no mention of Cockpen Church in the 12thc, but in 1356 Patrick de Ramsay granted the church at Cockpen to Newbattle Abbey. The Ramsays were lords of Dalhousie, with their main castle nearby. The first record of a Ramsey family member is that of Simon de Ramsay (Simundus de Ramesie), who appears in a documents in Scotland c.1140. It has been suggested that he followed David I from Huntingdonshire to Scotland sometime between 1124 (when David became king) and 1140. Although no documents concerning the construction of the medieval church survive, it is thought that the E end was extended in the 13thc and the W end in the 14thc.
|Lower stone height on left side||0.20 m|
|Lower stone height on right side||0.17 m|
|Lower stone width||0.25 m|
|Upper stone height on left side||0.17 m|
|Upper stone height on right side||0.14 m|
|Upper stone width||0.25 m|
|Diameter of roll||0.09 m|
|Diameter of roll||0.13 m|
R. Fawcett, et. al., Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches (http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/corpusofscottishchurches/)
D. MacGibbon and T. Ross, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, 2, Edinburgh
C. McWilliam, The Buildings of Scotland, Lothian, Harmondsworth 1978, 140-41.
J. O’Sullivan, ‘Archaeological excavations at Cockpen medieval parish church, Midlothian, 1993’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 125 (1995), 881-900.
RCAHMS, Inventory of Monuments - Midlothian and West Lothian, Edinburgh 1929, 11-12.