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St Bride's Church, South Church Street, Callander

A Category B Listed Building in Callander, Stirling

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Latitude: 56.2427 / 56°14'33"N

Longitude: -4.2129 / 4°12'46"W

OS Eastings: 262959

OS Northings: 707775

OS Grid: NN629077

Mapcode National: GBR 11.BMJY

Mapcode Global: WH4NH.8C34

Plus Code: 9C8Q6QVP+3R

Entry Name: St Bride's Church, South Church Street, Callander

Listing Name: South Church Street, Callander Kirk (Formerly St. Bride's Church of Scotland)

Listing Date: 5 October 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 358590

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB22901

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Callander

County: Stirling

Town: Callander

Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

Originally built in 1844 as St. Bride's Free Church with significant alterations in 1861 by the architect's practice Kennedy and Dalgleish (Glasgow) including the addition of the chancel and western Italianate entrance tower. Further alterations made in 1907.

A prominent landmark in Callander and environs, with a good quality early 20th century interior. It should be noted that it is relatively unusual to find such Italianate detailing to a Free Church.

Originally built as a simple, gable fronted, 4-bay long church. In 1861 the impressive Italianate towered W gable front was added; designed with a central window and flanking entrances surmounted by a clock tower and belfry. In 1907 it was rearranged to accommodate a centred Gibbsian round arched door with Roman Doric columns, the flanking doors being converted to bipartite windows.

The square clock tower rises above the pitch of the roof with a thick projecting cornice on which sits the belfry stage composed of 3 round arched openings to each face with consoles carrying an eaves cornice capped with a shallow pyramid roof.

It is noticeable that the side (N) elevation has a better quality of finish than its corresponding S side, possessing a projecting eaves cornice. The reason for this discrepancy is answered by the fact that a row of buildings once lined Pearl Street sitting very close to the S elevation. Therefore originally this elevation would have been fairly obscured. Pearl Street was demolished in the 20th century.


The large interior appears to have been re-furbished in the early 20th century. It is composed of a long central nave, four bays long with side aisles. The nave is segmentally vaulted resting on a heavy continuous cornice supported by an arcade of Corinthian columns. The vault is decorated with panelled floral frames. The aisles are set behind the columns with interesting tilted segmental ceilings.

There is a 1st floor gallery to the W gable end with a panelled front. The chancel is set slightly above the floor level of the nave with finely carved oak choir stalls and Classical panelling which incorporates an Ionic aedicule War Memorial at the centre of the E Wall. A richly carved oak pulpit stands to the left, dating from 1895, brought from St. Kessog's Church (now Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre, see separate listing); decorated with carved animals representing the 4 apostles. The organ is by Abbot & Smith, 1900. There is stained glass to the 3 round arched windows to the E; pictured is Christ offering the cup of salvation to Mary and St. John of the Revelation.


Coursed and squared 'pudding stone' to W and N elevations, random rubble to E and S. Sandstone dressings; vermiculated voussoirs and quoins to W gable front with quasi-strapwork forming gable parapets. Ashlar to belfry stage. Timber panelled doors throughout, some with upper leaded lights, main door with diamante headed raised panelling. Pitched grey slate roof. Ashlar copes to E gable with gable apex bracketed stack, recessed arch motif and corniced cope, various cans.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. B-Group with Callander Kirk Hall. Previously listed as 'St. Bride's Church of Scotland, Church Street'. The recorded history of a religious life in Callander begins with Saint Kessog, a follower of St Columba of Iona, who is said to have preached from the 'Hill of Kessog' beside the River Teith, in the 6th century. Callander's pre-Reformation Church was established in the area nearby to the 'Hill of Kessog', now the site of the Bridge Street Churchyard (see separate listing). The church of St. Kessog's was moved to Ancaster Square in the 1770s with the establishment of the planned town of Callander and further rebuilt in 1883 (see Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre listing). In 1843 a major disruption took place in the Church of Scotland with the establishment of the Free Church Movement, St. Bride's was built as a result of this in 1844. In 1985 St. Kessog's Church and St. Bride's Church merged, becoming known as Callander Kirk and occupying this building. The adjacent hall, Calllander Kirk Hall (see separate listing) was built in 1849 as the Free Church School.

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