The Lordship and Barony of Coldingham

The Priory has remained the caput for the Barony of Coldingham since 2nd of January 1392.

The Lordship of Coldingham was erected on 16th October 1621 and royal charter united all the lands possessions and baronies belonging to the priory into one barony on 19th October 1621.

Coldingham lies on the coast of Berwickshire. As the name implies it was originally an Anglian settlement of the first millennium. As early as the seventh century AD a religious house, the Abbey of Coldingham, had been established there by Aebbe a Northumbrian princess, later known as St Abb. Unfortunately a great fire in 679 AD destroyed much of the original building; however it was rebuilt only to be destroyed by Danish raiders in 870 AD. In 1098 King Edgar of Scotland founded a Priory at Coldingham in honour of St Cuthbert, and it was given to the monks at Durham. While the monks were subject to the King of England, the Prior was subject to the King of Scotland. This link with Durham and the English king was finally broken in the late fifteenth century. From 1509 onwards Coldingham Priory was attached to Dunfermline Abbey and remained so until the Reformation. The Prior was the Feudal Lord of the Barony of Coldingham. Coldingham lies on one of the main routes north from England, and it lay in the way of invading armies which damaged it, for example by King John of England in 1216, while in 1545 by troops under the Earl of Hertford. Prior William Drax is alleged to have burnt part of the Priory in 1430 in an attempt to hide his theft of the king’s gold. However, the Priory remained there, fully functioning, until the Reformation of 1560 when it was partly destroyed. In 1650 Oliver Cromwell led a Parliamentary army into Scotland to oppose the Scots support of King Charles II and again Coldingham Priory was fortified to resist the English invaders but after a two day siege it fell. The great medieval tower finally collapsed in 1777.