The first kirk may have been built on Anchor Green by the second St Baldred when he arrived in North Berwick in the 7th century from
Lindisfarne. By the 12th century the area around the town was owned by Duncan 4th Earl of Fife who gave land for a nunnery and helped to
pay for a larger stone church on Anchor Green.
The facilities included a hospice which served the needs of thousands of pilgrims from all over the country who visited the kirk before crossing the Forth of Forth to complete their journey to St Andrews in Fife. Pilgrims were the tourists of their day and thanks to their trade, North Berwick grew and prospered. By the 16th century, the kirk had been extended to become an impressive place of worship.
The unearthed graves, sited on the eastern portion of the old graveyard date from medieval times. It was not until the 17th century that the church authorities insisted that all future burials should be on the north side, as internments on the east and south were exposed to storm damage and ground erosion. The last burial at the Auld Kirk was between 1649 -1656 when the church fell into ruin.
By the late 18th century the site of the church consisted of an irregular low grassy mound, the only building visible was the south porch, the remainder of the ruins
had been progressively robbed for building material. In 1951, the Town Council commissioned Dr. James Richardson, retired Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments, who resided at 7 Tantallon Terrace, North Berwick to excavate the grassy mound.
During the archaeological survey, Dr. Richardson found two clay moulds which were used to produce lead souvenir badges. One badge was decorated with a depiction of St Andrew and would have been sewn onto the pilgrims clothing by an attached loop. He also unearthed an upright slab bearing a cross on both sides which may have been a marker to indicate the church's right of sanctuary. This was important to protect those fleeing their pursuers till the due process of law could be brought into effect. The stone thought to dated from the 9th century is on display in the North Berwick Museum.
Dr. Richardson also discovered a recumbent grave slab showing part of a warrior in the rockery of the Manse garden at the Glebe. This was identified as the gravestone of Lauder of the Bass and was returned to the Auld Kirk. Lying at the entrance to the Lodge grounds was a 13th century broken cope gravestone and small cross-slab which were also returned.
At the time of the 1951 excavation two walls were discovered from an earlier church. The original Romanesque building with small stones was constructed facing east to west, typical of the Celtic churches of the period. In the 13th century the church was substantially enlarged with a bell-tower added. The ruined walls exposed by Richardson give an indication of the outline of the Auld Kirk, although a considerable section on the east is missing after it fell into the sea following a great storm in 1656. The bell was transferred to the church in Kirk Ports in 1664 and is presently on display outside the St Andrew Blackadder Church.