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Ancaster Square, Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre (Formerly St. Kessog's Church)

A Category B Listed Building in Callander, Stirling

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.2442 / 56°14'39"N

Longitude: -4.2144 / 4°12'51"W

OS Eastings: 262872

OS Northings: 707947

OS Grid: NN628079

Mapcode National: GBR 11.BF6J

Mapcode Global: WH4NH.79DY

Entry Name: Ancaster Square, Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre (Formerly St. Kessog's Church)

Listing Date: 6 September 1979

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 358572

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB22885

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Callander

County: Stirling

Town: Callander

Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

1883 Robert Baldie. Square-plan church designed in the Early Gothic Pointed Style. The church occupies the site of the former 1773 local parish church. Set prominently to the N side of Ancaster Square facing S towards the Main Street. A confidently designed and well executed church with an impressive central tall steepled entrance.

The gabled entrance to the principal (S) elevation is reached by a series of steps. The forecourt in front of the church including the steps were landscaped in 1990 at the time of the church's conversion to a visitor centre.

The tower rises above the entrance and is buttressed at the corners, a clock face is set to 3 sides of the tower. A slender well articulated spire rises from above the clock stage with conical finials close-packed to its base.

The belfry is located at the base of the spire with gabled plate tracery windows (with timber louvers). The spire is crowned by what appears to be a ship weather-vane.

The tower is flanked by single bays arranged internally as vestibules giving access to the upper part of the church, each has a long shafted lancet window. The setback gabled main body of the church extends some way out, each has a quatrefoil set above a paired shafted lancet window.

The side W and E elevations have 3 gabled bays, each with 3 lancet windows above and below the former gallery level. To the rear is a gabled sanctuary with an adjoined lean-to outshot built in 1900 to house the organ chamber.

Interior

At the time of the church's conversion the main body of the church was gutted, the galleries to the 3 sides were removed and a floor inserted to create a large space to the upper part of the church. The only remaining surviving fabric to any degree remains to the central entrance hall and the adjoining SW vestibule. A bipartite pointed arch with central floriated columns gives access from the hall to a stone stair with cast iron balusters. The stair would have originally given access to the galleries, it now provides access to the 'Rob Roy Story' which is housed to the 1st floor, (2004). The vestibule to the SE has been re-arranged to provide lift access to the 1st floor.

Materials

Snecked blonde rubble with polished blonde sandstone dressings. Predominantly clear leaded lights, stained glass in N Lancets, now inaccessible; various female figures gathered below Christ, in memory of Katherine Elizabeth Buchanan 1905. Pitched grey slate roofs. Cast iron rainwater goods, 1883 inscribed to hoppers.

Statement of Interest

When St. Bride's Church and St. Kessog's Church amalgamated in 1985 it was decided to quit the former St Kessog's Church and set up at the former St Bride's Church calling itself Callander Kirk (see separate listing). St Kessog's Church therefore became redundant as a place of worship. However due to its prime location in Ancaster Square it was decided to convert it to a vistor's centre with the loss of the interior. The centre opened in 1990.

Baldie was a well established architect when commissioned in 1883 to re-build St. Kessogs. In the 1860s, with David Thomson, Robert Baldie rebuilt the ruinous outer ranges of Duntreath in Stirlingshire. In 1873, he designed St Mary's Free Church (now New Govan Parish Church) in a Gothic style, with an imaginative interior with no seat further than ten rows from the front. He designed Pollokshields Church of Scotland in 1878, in Mixed Gothic style, lavishly furnished and famed for its stained glass windows, and in 1879, the now-destroyed Kelvinside U.P. Church.

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