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Gallowgate, St Margaret of Scotland (Episcopal) Church, Including Rectory and Boundary Wall

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1514 / 57°9'4"N

Longitude: -2.0976 / 2°5'51"W

OS Eastings: 394193

OS Northings: 806726

OS Grid: NJ941067

Mapcode National: GBR SCJ.5D

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.RJB1

Entry Name: Gallowgate, St Margaret of Scotland (Episcopal) Church, Including Rectory and Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354391

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19960

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

James Matthews, 1870 with 2 additional chapels by J Ninian Comper, 1889 and 1908. Rectory, George Irvine, 1908. Aisleless church with later smaller chapels to S and W and with attached 2-storey and attic L-plan rectory to SW, situated on prominent site overlooking city. Tooled, coursed granite rubble with cream sandstone dressings. Some Gothic tracery windows. Late 20th century roof dormers to church.

Entrance elevation to S with steps leading to off-centre, advanced crow-stepped gabled porch with round-arched entrance. Large carved timber crucifix to right.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to rectory. Grey slates to main church roof, red pantiles to rectory and chapels. Raised skews and skewputts. Coped wallhead and gable stacks to rectory.

INTERIOR: nave with open timber roof with rafters springing from stone corbels. Steps to raised sanctuary. 3 pointed-arched openings to chapel to S. Carved decorative oak altar, pulpit and pews. Chapel to S with intricately carved, partly gilded open timber screen. Chapel to W with finely decorated wrought-iron chancel screen.

Good quality stained glass windows, some by Ninian Comper, depicting a variety of liturgical themes.

BOUNDARY WALL: high, coped, coursed rubble wall surrounding church complex.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Situated on a high, prominent site above the city, the church is a dominant feature in the landscape. The small chapel to the W of the nave is an early work by the celebrated architect Sir Ninian Comper and was his first complete buiding. A further Comper Chapel of 1908 and some fine stained glass windows are of particular note in this church. Ninian Comper's father, John, was the first Rector and founder of the parish and the chapel of 1908 was Ninian's memorial to him.

Rev John Comper was the rector at St John's Church in Aberdeen but resigned his incumbency in 1870 to devote himself to full-time mission work in the then notorious Gallowgate area of the city. He, and The Sisters of Mercy ran a day school, and evening classes for men and women. This mission became St Margaret's Church and was initially just a large nave which was gradually enlarged by the additions of the chapels by John's son Ninian, and the rectory.

James Matthews (1819-1898) was a prolific architect, working mainly in Aberdeen, Elgin and Inverness, and who was in partnership with his one-time trainee, A Marshall Mackenzie from 1877-93. Matthews output includes large public and smaller private buildings. He became Lord Provost of Aberdeen in 1883 and was mainly responsible for the City Improvement Act of 1883 which included the building of School hill and Rosemount Viaduct which gave improved access to the city. He is buried in St Nicholas Churchyard (see separate listing).

John Ninian Comper (1864-1960) was one of the finest 20th century church architect and designers. He was born in Aberdeen and his work is found throughout the UK. His output consists mainly of internal church furnishings and stained glass, with few complete buildings. His church designs marry a decorative architecture, based on various ecclesiastical styles, with the liturgical processes of the church.

George Irvine, born in England, worked in Aberdeen in the early part of the 20th century, but had moved to Edinburgh by 1910.

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