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Cockpen Parish Church

A Category A Listed Building in Midlothian South, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8661 / 55°51'57"N

Longitude: -3.0892 / 3°5'21"W

OS Eastings: 331933

OS Northings: 664195

OS Grid: NT319641

Mapcode National: GBR 60WM.00

Mapcode Global: WH6T1.JT5B

Plus Code: 9C7RVW86+C8

Entry Name: Cockpen Parish Church

Listing Name: Cockpen and Carrington Parish Church, Including Gates, Gatepiers, Boundary Wall and Letter Box

Listing Date: 22 January 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331205

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB780

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cockpen

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Cockpen

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Designed 1816 by Richard Crichton. 1817-1820 design executed by R and R Dickson (supervised by Archibald Elliot). Refitted Peddie and Kinnear in 1886. Cruciform-plan, Tudor-Gothic church with half-engaged square-plan tower. Tooled coursed yellow sandstone with droved dressings polished to margins. Base course; pointed segmental-arched, chamfered openings with hoodmoulds and carved label-stops; trefoil-headed traceried windows; moulded eaves course; gableted angle buttresses.

Southwest (entrance) elevation: four-stage entrance tower advanced to centre with dividing band courses, angle buttresses rise to form slim octagonal turrets. First stage with pointed segmental-arched, roll-moulded doorway to centre with two-leaf decorative panelled timber door with iron studs, tooled panel above reading "MDCCCXX". Second stage with two-light window to centre. Third stage with two-light window to centre of each side. Fourth stage with louvred tripartite openings to each side. Pierced fretted parapet on moulded eaves cornice.

Doorways flanking the entrance tower with two-leaf panelled timber door.

Southeast elevation: asymmetrical and four bays wide. Gabled transept advanced to penultimate bay to right, four-light window to centre, right return blank, curved stair tower to re-entrant angle to left; window to penultimate bay to left and bay to outer left; bay to outer right blank.

Northeast elevation: near-symmetrical and three bays wide. Gabled chancel advanced to centre bay with four-light window to centre; lean-to with boarded timber opening off-centre to left, boarded timber door with two-pane fanlight to right return; brick flue flanking angle buttress to left; stone crucifix to apex. Recessed bays to left and right blank.

Northwest elevation: mirror of southeast elevation

Diamond-pane windows with stained glass borders. Grey slate roof with lead ridge. Coped stone skews. Cast iron rainwater goods.

Interior: predominantly refitted by Peddie and Kinnear in 1886. Porch with tiled floor and ribbed ceiling; T-plan stair to gallery at centre with turned timber balusters to first flight, flanked to left and right by gothic panelled timber doors. Simple timber pews with cast iron and brass umbrella stands; gallery supported by cast iron columns to northwest, southwest and southeast with original gothic timber fronts; original timber pulpit incorporated into 1886 organ to centre of chancel; ribbed plaster vaulted ceiling rising from four corner shafts, with foliate plasterwork at intersections and plaster masks at terminations.

Gates, Gatepiers, Boundary Walls and Letter Box: decorative cast iron two-leaf gate flanked by two pedestrian gates; four stugged pink sandstone gatepiers with stop-chamfered angles and corniced caps. Rubble boundary wall with bull-faced and semicircular coping. Victorian wall letter box Type "C" to left of southeast wall.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such.

Cockpen Parish Church was commissioned by the Earl of Dalhousie to replace the 12th century church (see scheduled monument, SM1186) to the southeast which was too small. The 1680 bell from the old church was taken to the new one.

The design for the church tower was altered in the early stages so that it could be seen from both Dalhousie Castle and Arniston House. The builder and mason was John Dickson.

A contract held by the National Records of Scotland between the heritors and John Dickson, the builder, highlights Archibald Elliot as the architect (HR 333/6) However, further research carried out by a church member suggests that Richard Crichton was the architect. He died in 1817 shortly after the foundation stone of the church was laid. Richard and Robert Dickson were not only his pupils but also his nephews (his sister's sons) and they completed the project, supervised by Elliott. R and R Dickson, designed a nearly identical church at Kilconquhar in Fife only two years later.

Listed building record updated in 2019 with information about architects.

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