Most of the villages along the Rulewater have only a few stone walls remaining to mark what was once a bustling centre of activity.
In a field overlooking a modern working farm, are the remains of a very old kirk and gravestones. All that remains are the two gable ends of the kirk. In its day, that Abbotrule kirk was the worship place for many of the prominent Turnbulls who lived along the Rulewater.
It seems that when Abbotrule came under the influence of Patrick Kerr, the kirk and kirkyard were in the way of one who had no love for the kirk and who could not tolerate ministers. The kirk and kirkyard of Abbotrule, which can still be seen, lay near the Laird’s house. This intolerable situation resulted in drastic action by the Laird of Abbotrule, who decided to rid himself of his neighbours.
For years Patrick Kerr had bided his time and a well-pleased man was he, when in 1744, he had Elliot of Stobes and Douglas of Douglas to side with him. He wiped out forevermore the Abbotrule kirk and parish enabling him to seize its lands.
With the Abbotrule kirk demolished, in 1777 Abbotrule parish was annexed to the parishes of Hobkirk and Southdean.
The Abbotrule parish twenty-five-acre glebe (portion) of good land should have been shared between the Southdean and Hobkirk parishes, but Patrick Kerr kept it for his own use. Instead, fifty acres of poor soil lying between Doorpool and Chesters was given to the parishes. He must have had pleasure in this bargain, for he had gained a fertile glebe and had forever freed himself from his priestly neighbours. Wasting no time, he sought to plough up the kirkyard, but this could not be done because it was considered sacred ground. Burials continued there for 100 years after Patrick Kerr was gone.