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Latitude: 56.2292 / 56°13'45"N
Longitude: -4.3967 / 4°23'48"W
OS Eastings: 251517
OS Northings: 706652
OS Grid: NN515066
Mapcode National: GBR 0T.CG7B
Mapcode Global: WH3M8.FPKH
Plus Code: 9C8Q6JH3+M8
Entry Name: Achray Church
Listing Name: Brig O'turk Trossachs Parish Church Including Graveyard, Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Railings
Listing Date: 5 October 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 335269
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4064
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith
Traditional County: Perthshire
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
Trossachs Parish Church is a small church built in 1849 by the architect G. P. Kennedy of Glasgow. The church sits to the W of the village of Brig O'Turk in a picturesque position on the N banks of Loch Achray. Built by local benefactors to provide a place of worship for the tourists that were staying around Loch Achray, the locals previously having travelled to Callander to worship. The church is simple in plan and elevation, appearing to be older than its date suggests through the use of simple materials and building techniques. Detailing, where it exists, is simple and bold in scale, in an early Gothic style. A well-preserved picturesque church of the mid 19th century. Representing the work of an architect significant to the area and demonstrating the direct effects that the 19th century tourism industry had upon the development of the Trossachs area.
The church sits on an E-W axis, it is approached from the N with Loch Achray to the immediate S. The main body of the church is rectangular in plan, with an entrance porch to the S and a smaller, single room annex to the W. The 3-bay nave is divided by evenly spaced large rectangular angle buttresses framing openings. The N wall has a double lancet window to the central bay with single lancets to the outer bays. The porch is set to the centre bay of S (entrance) elevation, with flanking single lancets to the outerbays as the N. The walls are finished by an over-scale, plain ovolo-moulded eaves cornice, terminated at each end by large rectangular skewputts with ovolo-moulded undersides. A large 3-lancet stained glass window dominates the gabled E end of the church, framed by angle buttresses. A corniced ashlar plinth sits atop the gable, with a round arched ashlar birdcage bellcote with bell in-situ. The annex to the W of the church (which served as a vestry) may be mistaken for the entrance when the church is approached from the road, as the main entrance on the S side of the building is unsighted. The impracticality of this arrangement suggests that the church was designed primarily to be seen as part of the landscape when viewed from the S side of the loch. The beautiful view across Loch Achray when leaving the church may also have been a factor in this unusual arrangement. The eaves treatment to the annex contrasts with that of the main church, with a convex eaves course and convex shaped underside to the rectangular skewputts. The flat-topped gable was probably designed as such so as not to obscure light from the E gable window of the main nave.
The interior of the church was re-orientated in the late 19th century, when the congregation turned to face the E wall of the church, having previously faced W. This was to make full use of the recently installed, E window as a backdrop to the sermon. The stained glass, by A Ballantine & Gardiner, dates from 1893 and shows the story of the Good Samaritan. The 3-bay rhythm of the exterior is continued internally. Large wooden pointed bracing arches spring from timber corbels positioned at the mid-height of the nave wall. Narrowly spaced exposed timber trusses form the roof structure. There is a dark stained timber pulipit with corresponding chancel furniture and pews. The interior is simply decorated with timber panelling to dado height with white painted plastered walls above. On the S wall of the nave is a green marble memorial plaque to Major General Limond, with a brass centurion figurine to the head and a brass hunting scene panel inset. The annex may originally have served as a vestry behind the original E altar, it is currently used to house a W.C. and used as an alternative entrance, 2004. The S entrance vestibule houses separate wooden War Memorial plaques for WWI and II.
Random rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings, squared snecked rubble to buttresses. Mixture of diamond paned lead frames with clear glazing and stained glass windows. Grey slate pitched roofs, 3 diagonal stripes of grey fish-scale slates to nave roof. Timber boarded double doors (late 20th century), asymmetrical patterned designs.
Graveyard, Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Railings
The church and surrounding graveyard is bounded by a very low rubble wall, its small scale probably designed so that it doesn't interfere with the surrounding views. An assortment of grave markers dating from the 1850s onwards sit back from the church near to the boundary wall. The entrance is marked by a pair of monolithic stone gatepiers. A path leading from the roadside to the gatepiers is lined on both sides by cast iron park fencing railings.
ECCLESIASTICAL BUILDING IN USE AS SUCH. To the W of the church sits Tigh Mor Highlands (see separate listing, formerly the Trossachs Hotel, also opened in 1849) built to accommodate the increasing number of tourists visiting the area. It is interesting to note that G. P. Kennedy had been approached to give advice on the design of the Trossachs Hotel, perhaps Kennedy envisaged both church and hotel forming part of a wider scenic composition. Kennedy had previously assisted Charles Barrie with his design for Westminster Palace. He and his father, Lewis Kennedy (factor for the Drummond Estates), were responsible for the re-establishment of the gardens at Drummond Castle (the seat of the Willoughby D'Ersby family, major land-owners in the Trossachs and benefactors for much of the building work at both church and the Trossachs Hotel).
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