Rosewell Church

The village of Rosewell grew up around the Coal mining industry which was owned firstly by Wardlaw Ramsay and then in 1856 Archibald Hood acquired the lease. Between 1846 and 1881 the population increased from 133 to 2129. This rise was due to many Irish immigrants coming over to find work and escape the effects of the Potato Famine. By 1885 Rosewell had a Church, Post Office, School and Savings Bank. 

Prior to there being a church in Rosewell, the place of worship would have been Lasswade Parish Church (quoad omnia), the “Mother” Church. However, with a growing population in the village, an application for a Home Mission Station for Rosewell was made to Dalkeith Presbytery in April 1867, which appears to have been granted.  Then in 1870, the minutes of a meeting of Dalkeith Presbytery held in October 1870 record the Rev Dr Mackenzie stating that “he had received since the last meeting of Presbytery, a letter from the Home Mission Committee urgently recommending that a church should be built at the Rosewell Mission Station. The Presbytery having heard Dr Mackenzie on the subject, cordially appointed the following committee to endeavour to accomplish the above desirable object, namely Dr Mackenzie,  Dr Gordon, Dr Wright, Messers Torrence, Henderson, Muir, Core and Imrie, with Dr Gordon to be convener, with the power to add the names of Elders or other gentlemen in the District.” 

The following year, at a meeting of Dalkeith Presbytery in April 1871, Dr Gordon read an application to the Home Mission Committee for a building grant for the Rosewell Mission for a new church at Rosewell. The Presbytery, having considered the subject and having sufficient evidence in support, recommended the application to ”the favourable consideration of the Home Mission committee”. The congregation at Lasswade also contributed to the funds for the new church.

In June 1871, Mr George Boag was admitted by the Presbytery as Missionary at Rosewell, with the church being built during 1871-72. The opening of the new church was reported on 22 March 1872, in the Scotsman Newspaper, which stated that “The new church at Rosewell in connection with the Church of Scotland, has just opened. The Rev Thomas Gordon, DD, of Newbattle preached on Sunday forenoon and the Rev George Boag of Rosewell in the evening. The church is a handsome edifice, seated for 350; beautifully finished inside and well lighted with gas, and reflects much credit upon those who have been connected with its erection”. 

The Feu Charter was agreed on 11 November 1872 – cost £850. 

The church at Rosewell was then erected a Parish in 1874, and on 15 October 1874, the Dalkeith Advertiser Newspaper reported that “on the 9th October 1874, the Presbytery of Dalkeith met in the church of Rosewell for the ordination of the Rev J H McCulloch M.A, B.D. to the pastoral care of the newly erected Rosewell Parish (quoad sacra). The Rev Mr Imrie of Penicuik presided, preaching an excellent sermon to a large and attentive congregation. In the evening, a soiree took place in the Church attended by many local clergymen, during which Rev McCulloch was presented with a gold watch and chain”.

The Rev J H McCulloch was well known to the congregation, as nine months previous to his ordination, he had been appointed by unanimous request of the congregation and during this time, Rosewell and its district had been erected by the Court of Teinds into a church and parish (quoad sacra). Therefore, the Rev J H McCulloch became the first minister of the new Parish on the 9th October 1874.

The first Baptism took place October 1874, followed by the first Communion Service in November of that year, The Communion Silver was gifted by Lady Louise Wardlaw Ramsay.

There have been few changes to the exterior of the Church but the interior was refurbished and modernised in the late 1940’s. The Organ was introduced in 1887 – prior to that it would be a presenter who would lead the singing. 

The present Organ was installed 13 December 1903 and was gifted by James Hood. The Church Bell was gifted by James Hood as a memorial to his daughter Margaret Cochrina Hood who died in 1912 at the very early age of 6 years. The Hood family contributed greatly to the development of the Church as we see it today.

In 1991 Rosewell Church was linked with Cockpen and Carrington Church and Lasswade Parish Church. Then in 2008, the congregations of Lasswade Church and Rosewell Church formally united, with a single Kirk Session, known as the “Congregation of Lasswade and Rosewell Parish Church”, with both places of worship being retained for now.

Rosewell Parish Church was listed as a Category B building on 7 March 1997