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Latitude: 55.7495 / 55°44'58"N
Longitude: -4.6314 / 4°37'52"W
OS Eastings: 234940
OS Northings: 653815
OS Grid: NS349538
Mapcode National: GBR 39.BXXK
Mapcode Global: WH2NB.TRR7
Entry Name: Kirk Road, High Church, Including Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Gates
Listing Date: 14 April 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 331368
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB923
Building Class: Cultural
County: North Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Kilbirnie and Beith
Traditional County: Ayrshire
John Connell and William Harvie, masons,1807-1810, with additions and alterations 1885; restorations 1985-1993. Gothic church with tall 5-stage square clock tower to N; later wide gabled entrance front of 1885 to S (forming T-plan) with central boarded door under ogival head, flanking buttresses linked by blind arcade above; blind quatrefoil oculus; E and W gabled elevations with 3 bays; buttressed bay to each re-entrant angle at S. All windows 2 or 3 lights with geometric tracery. Battlemented parapets and gables. Tower with paired, louvred belfry openings in 5th stage, panelled gable finials above linked by lattice parapet. Sandstone rubble to earlier phase with raised and droved margins; squared and snecked sandstone to later phase with ashlar dressings. Gables with distinctive cross finials. Grey slates; cast-iron rainwater goods.
N ELEVATION: 3 bays, central tower with flanking recessed bays; traceried windows to each bay. Single storey vestibule addition in re-entrant angle to L.
INTERIOR: good scheme in place with notable stained glass. Panelled gallery to 3 sides supported on cast-iron columns; decorative panel set in Giffen gallery dated 1596 with armorial of Robert Montgomerie and his wife Jean Campbell. Flat, timber boarded and ribbed ceiling. Various memorials including 1st and 2nd World War memorials. Mid 20th century stained glass by Gordon MacWhirter Webster. Bog oak chancel furniture of 1896. Marble and onyx baptismal font, 1896. Organ by Harrison and Harrison in Gothic case by John Pollock of Victoria Works, Beith, 1885. Lectern by John McKechnie of Beithcraft, 1928.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: tall, coped sandstone rubble walls; chamfered, corniced gatepiers with Gothic panels and quatrefoils; ball caps. Cast-iron gates to front and rear with spearheads and vase finials.
Known as the 'visible church', the High Church can be seen on the approach to Beith from miles around. The church is still very much a focal point of the town and its location at the highest point of what is the highest town in Ayrshire makes it an impressive landmark. The significance of old local families is discernable inside the church, in particular there are memorials to the Mongtomeries, the Cochrans and the Patricks. Beith's famous furniture trade is also represented here in the form of the chancel furniture and lectern. The bell in the clock tower, gifted by Robert Shedden in 1823, continues to chime and can now be operated electrically. The alterations in 1885 included extending and re-seating to a capacity of 1254.
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