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Vicarsford Cemetery Chapel

A Category A Listed Building in Leuchars, Fife

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Latitude: 56.4203 / 56°25'13"N

Longitude: -2.9115 / 2°54'41"W

OS Eastings: 343870

OS Northings: 725719

OS Grid: NO438257

Mapcode National: GBR VL.ZKP1

Mapcode Global: WH7RK.7WVG

Entry Name: Vicarsford Cemetery Chapel

Listing Date: 17 October 1973

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 341076

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB8863

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife

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T M Cappon, 1895-7. Tall 4-bay, buttressed, rectangular-plan chapel in 13th Century French Gothic style with 3-bay curved apse and copper roof with ornate fleche. Entrance porch to E with carved ship panel and porch to W linked to small, gabled 3-bay, buttressed, open cloistered, vaulted arcade with traceried 3-light openings and lavishly crocketed buttress pinnacles. Bi-partite, pointed arched windows with quatrefoils to apex and moulded surrounds punctuated by shouldered, gabletted buttresses capped by gargoyles carved by James Bremner. Large 4-light, quatrefoil, traceried window to N gable with tripartite round arched ventilator detail to tympanum and carved stone cross finial to apex. Grey snecked rubble masonry with ashlar detailing. Stepped base course, blind trefoil bracketed eaves course with plain band course over. Prominently sited in hill top position overlooking large contemporary rectangular-plan cemetery.

Coloured square and multi-pane glazing pattern in leaded windows. Green copper roof with saddleback stone skews and gabletted skewputts. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: vaulted and ribbed, cream coloured, Caen stone ceiling and walls to interior.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Vicarsford Cemetery, Lodge, Boundary Walls, Gates Gatepiers and Railings. Vicarsford Chapel is a fine and rare example of a small ecclesiastical building type with fine stone detailing and very prominently sited within a designed hillside cemetery of the same date. It was built as the Memorial to Lady Leng with the Saint-Chapelle, Paris as the main inspiration, and shows fine 13th century French Gothic references throughout the stonework, including the carved stone gargoyles by James Bremner.

The cemetery chapel is a very unusual building type in Scotland, only a few other non-denominational cemetery chapels are known of, the Hyndford Chapel in Lanark and the Mortuary Chapel in the Western Cemetery in Arbroath (both also category A-listed). Comparative building types are 18th and 19th century burial vaults and crematoria which become prevalent from the 1930s onwards.

The architect Thomas Martin Cappon (1863-1939) was a local architect who having articled in the area started a practice in Dundee in 1886. The majority of his earlier works were churches, of which Vicarsford is a fine example, before moving on to work on schools and private houses later on in his career. His known body of work is confined to Dundee and the Fife area. He was instrumental in setting up the Architecture department in Dundee Technical College.

The Cemetery was laid out in 1890 and it is thought Cappon was also involved in the design of this and the Vicarsford Cemetery Lodge with the gatepiers walls and railings which are listed separately (see separate listing).

The Chapel was upgraded from B to A in 2010.

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