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Dalmeny South Door Sculpture-zodiac signsPhoto by Christopher Johnson, http://glasspilgrim.blogspot.ro

In the small village of Dalmeny, near South Queensferry, lies one of the most complete Romanesque churches in Britain. Dalmeny Parish Church was built in the 12th century. The church was probably founded c.1160 by Gospatric III, Earl of Dunbar, whose grandfather had fled into exile in Scotland from William the Conqueror.

The present church building dates from the early 12th century, and is recognised as the finest Norman/Romanesque parish church still in use in Scotland, and one of the most complete in the United Kingdom, lacking only its original western tower, which was rebuilt in a sympathetic style in 1937. The aisleless nave, choir and apse survive almost complete from the 12th century. The refined sculptural detail of the chancel and apse arches is notable, as is a series of powerful beast-head corbels supporting the apse vault. These features are also extremely well preserved, with the original tool-marks still visible. The elaborate south doorway is carved with the signs of the zodiac and an “agnus dei”, enlivened with blind arcading above. The door is comparable to the north door at Dunfermline Abbey. Nearby is a rare 12th-century sarcophagus carved with 13 doll-like figures (possibly Christ and the 12 apostles) in niches (now very weathered). The churchyard also has a number of fine 17th- and 18th-century gravestones. Interrments in the churchyard include the advocate and historian John Hill Burton (1809–1881).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmeny, http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk

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