Story of St Kentigern Features in Annan History Town Programme

The compelling story of St Kentigern and the Pilgrim’s Way will form the basis of a fascinating talk, set to take place next Tuesday evening at Annan Old Parish Church Hall, as part of the autumn/winter programme hosted by Annan the History Town.


Kathleen Cronie, who is organising these events on behalf of the ATHT, tells us more:


“It is a great pleasure to be welcoming Bill Jack to co-present the third in our series of talks, taking us on a journey into the past to explore the life of St Kentigern, his impact on the local area and how his story has influenced the development of the new Pilgrim’s Way. I’m delighted to be joining him to share my passion for researching historic burial grounds, with a focus on the skilfully crafted headstones, folk art and epitaphs linked to St Kentigern’s Churchyard.”

Bill Jack will present an overview of Saint Kentigern’s life and travels, offering a view of his activities at Hoddom and in the Solway area. The work of creating a new 150 mile-long pilgrim route from St Kentigern’s Episcopal Seat at Hoddom to his tomb in the Crypt of Glasgow Cathedral will be described. Bill also plans to touch on the impact that Kentigern had on church and national politics 600 years after his death.

Speaking about what sparked his interest in St Kentigern, Bill Jack said:

“My interest in St Kentigern was sparked by a casual remark in a conversation around 5 years ago.  It developed into a deeper interest in the Saint’s life and travels. This led to the decision to attempt the creation of a new pilgrim route leading from Hoddom to Glasgow Cathedral.”

Bill will initially explore what is known about Kentigern, how that knowledge was acquired, and the possible influence of church politics on the way his story is presented.  The talk will include Bill’s thoughts on the important role that Hoddom occupies in the Kentigern story, before he describes the work of creating the St Kentigern’s Way pilgrim route, concluding with a description of the Inaugural Pilgrimage and some thoughts on possible future developments.



From there, Kathleen will give a short presentation into some of the stones and stories to be found in St Kentigern’s Churchyard:


Kathleen tells us more:


“The old burial ground of St Kentigern sits on the banks of the River Annan at Hoddom and houses many ornate graves. From the outset you are welcomed to St. Kentigern’s, by skull and bones, winged soul and hourglass: a timely reminder you are entering a place of the dead, and that those interred, believed in the hereafter.”

Back in 1991, a remarkable discovery was made at the churchyard, Kathleen continued:

“On the high ground to the rear of the churchyard, the remains of a large monastery were discovered back in 1991. We encourage you to visit Dumfries Museum, where you can view some of the 8th and 9th century stones.”

These talks are designed to promote an interest in Annandale’s richly varied history. The series launched with a lively, informative lecture by Council Archaeologist, Andrew Nicholson on the Archaeology of Annandale, followed by a study of the life of Lieutenant-General Alexander Dirom by local history enthusiast, Margery Wilkins.


Guests will have the opportunity to chat and ask questions, and are encouraged to share any personal research on the night.


Summing up, Kathleen said:


“There’s been a fantastic response to the talks so far; warmest thanks to everyone who has supported the programme, and to the Reverend David Whiteman for hosting us. The series offers a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on Annandale’s rich history, culture and heritage, inspiring people to discover more. We look forward to welcoming our next guests and will be announcing more dates and subjects in the coming weeks.”


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