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South United Free Church, Comrie Street, Crieff

A Category A Listed Building in Crieff, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3746 / 56°22'28"N

Longitude: -3.8432 / 3°50'35"W

OS Eastings: 286257

OS Northings: 721782

OS Grid: NN862217

Mapcode National: GBR 1H.26K8

Mapcode Global: WH4N2.Y11G

Plus Code: 9C8R95F4+RP

Entry Name: South United Free Church, Comrie Street, Crieff

Listing Name: Comrie Street, Old South Church, Antique Galleries Including Mission Hall, Boundary Walls, Railings, Gatepiers and Gates

Listing Date: 5 October 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 359277

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB23509

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Crieff

County: Perth and Kinross

Town: Crieff

Electoral Ward: Strathearn

Traditional County: Perthshire

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J J Stevenson, 1882; construction supervised by Robert Ewan of Glasgow (see Notes); minor alterations Sir Robert Lorimer, 1929. Mission Hall 1876. Scots gothic church with 3-stage tower, on ground falling steeply to SW. 4-bay nave with side aisles, clerestory and basement. Red bull-faced ashlar in uneven courses with ashlar dressings. String and eaves courses. Single, 2- and 4-stage sawtooth-coped buttresses, hoodmoulds. Traceried windows, quatrefoil roundels, pointed-, shoulder-arched and square-headed openings, chamfered reveals and stone mullions.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical, broad gabled 3-stage elevation with flanking 2-stage aisle bays. Centre bay with deeply-moulded doorway, 2-leaf timber door with glazed fanlight, single light to left and bipartite window high up to right, 3 narrow lights at 2nd stage and 3 traceried double lancets to 3rd stage with traceried roundel in gablehead; flanking full-height buttresses give way to outer bays each with bipartite window at 1st stage (that to left widely-spaced), small bipartite at 2nd stage and deep blocking course above with quatrefoil in square panel; further single stage buttress to outer right.

SE (COLDWELLS ROAD) ELEVATION: gabled porch to outer left with deeply-moulded doorcase incorporating flanking colonettes and blind-arcade within tympanum, 2-leaf timber door, roundel in gablehead and buttress to right. 4-bay nave aisle extending to right with cill course giving way to 4-light windows and blocking course with glazed quatrefoils above. 10 Y-traceried windows to clerestory above. Tower (see below) projecting at outer right.

E TOWER: 1st stage SE with moulded doorway and adjacent narrow light to left, low mission hall abutting at outer right. 2nd stage with bipartite window set into pointed-arch frame to SE and NE, stepped-in course above abutting cill of single lancet to same 2 faces, further stepped-in course higher up 2nd stage with small square opening to each face. Cill course at 3rd stage giving way to large louvered traceried opening at each face, outer angles corbelled to squat bartizans and battlemented parapet with drain spouts and set-back octagonal spire with delicate fleche to alternate faces, all surmounted by ball finial and cast-iron weathervane with cockerel.

NW ELEVATION: as SE elevation but with 3-stage stair tower (detail similar to porch) to outer right.

NE ELEVATION: gabled elevation with tall heavily-mullioned tripartite window divided into 4-light traceried window with cinquefoil at apex and small bipartite in gablehead with Celtic Cross finial. Mission hall (see below) at ground and tower (see above) at left.

Multi-pane leaded glazing with coloured margins and small coloured details to clerestory, SW and NE; stained glass to bay 3 of SE nave and vestibule (see below). Green slates. Ashlar-coped skews with flat skewputts, cast-iron downpipes with decorative rainwater hoppers.

INTERIOR: galleried. Leaded-light screens and doors to vestibule, stone stairs to gallery with cast-iron balusters. Wide nave retaining fixed timber pews fronts at chancel end; arcade of circular cast-iron piers with moulded capitals giving way to segmental arches, panelled timber gallery fronts, organ to SW and open-timbered ceiling. Steps up to chancel with altar arch.

STAINED GLASS: S gable vestibule with 1888 memorial window to Dr Alexander Thom depicting man carrying lamp, and memorial window to G Strathairn with scenes from the Pilgrim's Progress by Douglas Strachan, 1926. Further figurative light to vestibule and 4-light window to nave SE.

MISSION HALL: low rectangular-plan squared rubble block abutting church at NE. Truncated gable to SE with relief-carved stone, dated '1876'?, over part-blocked raised centre hoodmoulded window. Circular ironwork ridge ventilator, rooflights and gablehead stacks. Further smaller jerkinheaded rectangular block (probably later) to NE with overhanging eaves, tripartite window to SE and 2 single windows to NE, 2 diminutive ironwork ridge ventilators and 2 rooflights. Both buildings linked at SE (Coldwells Road) by low screen wall with timber door to centre, 2 single lights to left and tripartite window to right all below blocking course.

BOUNDARY WALLS, RAILINGS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: stepped ashlar-coped boundary walls with inset decorative ironwork railings and flat-coped square-section ashlar gatepiers with ironwork gates to SE.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building no longer in use as such. Formerly listed as 'South and Monzievaird Church of Scotland' and previously known as the South United Free Church. Opened as the Free Church on 27th August, 1882 by Rev Dr Whyte of Free St George's, Edinburgh. With seating for 800 the building, of Alloa stone with exterior woodwork of teak, cost some ?5000 plus an extra ?100 for the belfry. All upper windows were double glazed and the spire, reaching 120', is based on that of Dunblane Cathedral. The architect, J J Stevenson, was an ex-patriot Glaswegian, by 1882 hailing from Bayswater, London: he was a key player in the revival of Scots Gothic and a father figure for the "London Scots" who went south after the Glasgow Bank crash. Building was carried out "under the superintendence of Robt Ewan Esq, architect Glasgow, and Hew Miller Esq, factor, Ochtertyre" (Chatburn). The organ was installed in 1899, and in 1900 the United Presbyterian and Free Churches combined. When Monzievaird Church closed in 1964 the congregation divided between Crieff South and West Churches.

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