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Church Square, Glenmuick Parish Church, (Church of Scotland)

A Category B Listed Building in Ballater, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.0486 / 57°2'55"N

Longitude: -3.0403 / 3°2'24"W

OS Eastings: 336986

OS Northings: 795766

OS Grid: NO369957

Mapcode National: GBR WF.9YVW

Mapcode Global: WH7NL.83H8

Entry Name: Church Square, Glenmuick Parish Church, (Church of Scotland)

Listing Date: 25 November 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 357259

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB21828

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Ballater

County: Aberdeenshire

Town: Ballater

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Ballater

Description

J Russell Mackenzie, 1873-4. Rectangular plan Victorian Gothic church and church hall with distinctive canted entrance porch, 4-bay aisles to N and S and simple, largely unaltered interior. Engaged 2-stage stair and clock tower with stone spire to SE. Squared, coursed pink and grey granite. Prominent and commanding position in central square within village. Base course, trefoil headed windows, some with hoodmoulds. Church hall at W.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: gabled elevation with double height canted porch to E with central gabled entrance with paired, diagonally boarded timber doors set in Gothic sandstone arch with engaged columns with foliate capitals. Large 4-light geometric tracery style gabled window above. To left, pinnacled, battered tower with 3 small diagonally aligned windows on E face and wooden door on S face. Foundation stone (1873) set into E wall. Clock to top of 1st stage. Lucarned spire. Octagonal recessed steeple spire, rising from tower with pinnacles.

Geometric tracery style windows to E. Tall 2-light Y-tracery windows to E, and N and S aisles. Predominantly diamond leaded panes. Simple lancet windows to church hall. Grey graded slate. Gable end stacks to hall.

INTERIOR: simple, largely unaltered interior. Entrance hall with spiral timber stair to left with cast iron balusters to gallery. 4-bay round-arched nave supported by tall slender cast iron piers with foliate capitals. Gallery to E. Pine timberwork. Some box pews. Whitewashed with boarded dado. Original pews. Ensuite communion table, lectern, pulpit, baptismal font and organ panel. Some 20th century stained glass to S aisle, 1920s onwards.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Glenmuick Parish Church is a striking landmark in the central square in Ballater and is an important part of the streetscape. It was also the place around which the town developed and is a crucial element in Ballater's history.

Francis Farquharson, and later his brother William, planned Ballater in the late 18th century, following the discovery that the Pannanich Wells across the River Dee (see separate listing) were deemed to have miraculous healing qualities. This led to a steady stream of visitors and Ballater was planned as a village that could house them. The village was based on a rectilinear plan with the church at its centre. This early church was a simple building with a wooden steeple and was built to accommodate the people of the three surrounding parishes - Glengairn, Tullich and Glenmuick. It was consecrated in 1800.

With Queen Victoria's interest in Balmoral in the 1850s and the arrival of the railway to the town in 1866, Ballater grew more prosperous and the older church was thought not be sufficiently in keeping with the new more prosperous town and the present church was built. The architect J. Russell Mackenzie was from Aberdeen and most of his work is seen in the North East.

The box pews in the interior are to the right and left of the pulpit, with one for the minister's family and the other for the Laird and his family.

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