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Balquhidder Parish Church and Churchyard

A Category B Listed Building in Balquhidder, Stirling

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3582 / 56°21'29"N

Longitude: -4.3716 / 4°22'17"W

OS Eastings: 253568

OS Northings: 720951

OS Grid: NN535209

Mapcode National: GBR 0V.37WC

Mapcode Global: WH3LP.TGG3

Entry Name: Balquhidder Parish Church and Churchyard

Listing Date: 5 October 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335385

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4157

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Balquhidder

County: Stirling

Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith

Parish: Balquhidder

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

David Bryce with John, James and William Hay (see Notes), 1853-5. 5-bay, roughly rectangular-plan Gothic Parish Church of rather squat proportions with a dominant steep roof, substantial gabled porch, 2-tier belfry on W gablehead, battered base course and buttresses, lean-to vestry to rear and cusped pointed-arch lights. Balquhidder church is well-detailed, almost unaltered and occupies a prominent position at the heart of Balquhidder. There has been a church on or near this site since the early medieval period, and the village of Balquhidder is properly called the Kirktown of Balquhidder.

A substantial gabled porch is situated on S elevation: 3 steps lead to the pointed-arch entrance which is stop-chamfered and has a hood mould. The bays on the N and S elevations are marked by cusped lights and divided by battered buttresses. There is also a blocked eaves course to these elevations. On the W elevation is a 3-light window of cusped lancets grouped under a pointed arch which springs from flanking buttresses. At the gable apex is a shouldered, 2-tier belfry of 3 cusped arches, only one of which now holds a bell. The E elevation has two cusped lancets flanking a central shouldered buttress; at the gable apex is a trefoil light. Above the lean-to vestry on the N elevation is a gabled dormer window rising from the eaves of the main body of the church. The gables all have corbelled skewputts and ashlar-coped skews.

Interior: arch-braced timber ceiling supported on stone corbels; timber gallery at E end; carved pine pulpit and other fittings. The font is an ancient roughly-hewn bowl-shaped stone on 1917 carved plinth. The St Angus Stone, which is propped against the N wall, is 8th or 9th century and is believed to be the gravestone of St Angus who brought Christianity to the glen. It is carved with a figure of the saint, holding the cup of salvation.

Materials: 2-leaf timber-boarded main door with strap hinges; timber-boarded door to vestry. Coursed, bull-faced sandstone with polished dressings, which were cut and carted from Queensferry. Graded greenish slate; decorative red terracotta ridge tiles.

Churchyard with Boundary Wall, Stile and War Memorial: Notable collection of gravestones and burial enclosures. Numerous grave slabs of early date, some with noteworthy sculpture. The burial place of Rob Roy and family is just E of the Old Kirk. Random rubble boundary wall; retaining wall with stile to S of churchyard. War Memorial by George Washington Browne, circa 1920.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Former School and Schoolhouse, Ardachaidh and Old Library Tea Room. Ecclesiastical building in use as such. This is at least the third church known to have existed on or near this site. It was commissioned by David Carnegie, who had purchased the Stronvar Estate in 1849. Carnegie had made a large fortune from brewing and sugar refining in Sweden, and a similar church, St Briget's, also by Bryce, was erected by him in Gothenburg. This church is traditionally attributed to David Bryce (who also designed Stronvar House), but the Buildings Of Scotland volume also mentions the involvement of the architectural firm Hay of Liverpool. The respective roles of Bryce and the Hays is unclear: it is possible that the latter, who built a number of churches across central Scotland, were the executant architects. The school, schoolhouse and house opposite the church were also commissioned by Carnegie and are built with similar log-effect stonework.

The ruins of the previous church, which was built in 1631, lie in the churchyard. It was in bad condition and partially dismantled when the present church was built. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The 1631 church was built directly to the West of the previous, medieval, church which originally housed the St Angus Stone. Rob Roy MacGregor's grave now occupies that spot. St Angus was a Celtic missionary who brought Christianity to Balquhidder.

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