History of Carriden Church
The first formal place of worship in the Parish of Carriden was in 1243 when David de Bernham consecrated a church .
This church was probably situated near the present Carriden House but there are no known remains. However, the foundations of a later building, with its adjacent burial ground are still to be seen in the vicinity of Carriden House. The building was simply constructed with a clay floor - members had to supply their own seats.
Partly due to the deterioration of the fabric, but more possibly from pressure by the Dalrymple family who occupied the nearby House and who desired more privacy, a new church was built at Cuffabouts in 1766 - the land being gifted by the Dalrymples. Originally this was a “T” shaped structure and had internal galleries (including the sailors’ loft). The tower and spire were added in 1850.
Again, because of increasing dilapidation, it was necessary to consider the construction of yet another building - the present one which was completed in 1909.
The architect was P MacGregor Chalmers who was well known for church design. The plans were approved in 1907 and the first “turf” was cut on 18 April, 1908 by Mrs Andrew, wife of the Grange School Headteacher. The foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Hamilton on 18 September, 1909. Bo’ness and Carriden Band provided the musical accompaniment. The church was dedicated on Saturday, 18 September, 1909 at 3.00 pm.
Blackness Mission Church - In 1949, when Mr Dyer was the Minister, the Episcopal Church at Blackness was bought to serve the needs of the local people who, until then worshipped in the former school near Blackness Castle. When the building was taken over, it had to be, more or less, completely furnished.
A full history of the Parish, the churches and the landowners has been compiled by Dr GA Blackbourn FSA (Scotland) and copies are available within the present day church.