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Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder

Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder  - Copyright Dougie Milne Photography 2017

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The historic Kirk of Calder, in the conservation village of Mid Calder, West Lothian, Scotland, dates from 1541, although there has been a church on the site since around 1150. The bell tower was originally at the western end of the church, but in 1831 an extension was added to accommodate the congregation, which had grown from 760 in 1755 to 1489 by 1831.

It was here that John Knox, assisted by Reverend John Spottiswood, drew up the Scots Confession of Faith in 1560, at the height of the Reformation. A portrait of Knox hangs in the vestry. Other famous figures to have worshipped in the Kirk include the composer Frederick Chopin, the chemist and entrepreneur James 'Paraffin' Young and the explorer and missionary David Livingston.

Musket shot bullet holes can still be seen on the outside walls of the church from when it came under attack from Royalist forces following the signing of the National Covenant in 1638, when Scottish Presbyterians protested against King Charles I's enforced imposition of his Book of Common Prayer. The area around Mid Calder was a hotbed of revolt against the King. Ministers were forced to hold illegal open-air services, known as Conventicles, in the hills around the village.

This picture was taken on 12 December 2017.