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East Port, St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church

A Category B Listed Building in Dunfermline, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0724 / 56°4'20"N

Longitude: -3.4546 / 3°27'16"W

OS Eastings: 309546

OS Northings: 687576

OS Grid: NT095875

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.PHTD

Mapcode Global: WH5QR.XM3N

Entry Name: East Port, St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church

Listing Date: 12 January 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 362488

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26018

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Town: Dunfermline

Electoral Ward: Dunfermline Central

Traditional County: Fife

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R Rowand Anderson, 1889-96; chancel and W sacristy/vestry added 1934-36 by M Watson of Edinburgh, probably under Reginald Fairlie; E sacristy/kitchen added/further extensions to W 1973. Rectangular-plan; orientated N/S; with aisled nave, apsidal N end and large gabled porch to S. 4-bay nave of Transitional design based on Peterborough Cathedral (part of larger uncompleted scheme); 3-bay chancel (plus apse). Slender flanking towers with pyramidal roofs to S gable. Coursed snecked rock-faced red sandstone with droved ashlar towers, buttresses and dressings to nave and porch; yellow sandstone chancel; dressings to apse and those to sacristy and vestry partly or wholly of concrete. Base course (except to altered sacristy and vestry); band course at cill level to aisles and one over arches of clerestory windows to either side of nave; machicolated eaves band to nave and aisles; parapet to nave. Eaves band to chancel; machicolated band course below to apse. Round-arched openings to nave (including aisles) and upper part of apse; splayed reveals to gable and either side of nave/aisles and upper part of chancel. Coped gables.

S ELEVATION: large porch occupies most of width of nave; round-arched entrance with 2-leaf boarded timber door with ornate strap hinges and fanlight; oculus to shouldered gable above; shallow buttress stepped out twice to both returns; arrowslit to upper part of butress to left return; band course to right return. Gable end of nave set back; blind 3-light window arcade (Palladian arrangement) with nook shafts; band course at cill level and one above following outline of arches. Ornamented Greek cross (cross fleurette) at apex. Flanking towers of square plan; each with nook shafts at angles rising from base course to eaves level; band course links to that across arches of upper windows of nave; double-arched blind arcade with nook shafts, flanked and divided by shafts with carved capitals to each side; brackets ornamented with grotesque heads in between; cornice above; pyramidal roof with roll-moulded ribs at angles and to centre of each face; gargoyle-type(?) carvings at base of each rib; splayed pinnacle at apex. Entrance with boarded timber door to aisle to left; window to aisle to right; both with band course at eaves level; one at cill level to right aisle. Both aisles terminate at gableted set back buttresses, set against square-plan tower-like pinnacle which rises from eaves with nook shafts at angles and finialled pyramidal roof.

NAVE: 4 bays divided by pier buttresses to both clerestory and aisles. Single window to each bay at each level.

CHANCEL: obscured at lower level on either side by partially rendered lean-to sacristy; that to W incorporates vestry (1934, extended/remodelled 1973); that to E incorporates kitchen (1973). S bay altered and cement rendered with concrete eaves band on each side (probably 1973). Quatrefoil window to each of remaining bays.

APSE: semicircular-plan. 3 bays, upper part of each recessed as panel; each with window with nook shafts (shafts missing, capitals and bases intact) towards apex; cill course and band course across sprining point of window arch to each bay. Pair of Caernarvon-arched windows below recessed panel to each bay.

Mostly multipane leaded windows; replacement UPVC ones to sacristy, vestry and lower part of apse. Grey slate roofs. Some early cast-iron downpipes with conical rainwater heads with decorated bands.

INTERIOR: round-arched arcading to nave; cushion capitals to moulded aisle piers and circular shafts supporting clerestory and ceiling. Semicircular timber barrel-vaulted roof (curved over arched windows with flanking lower-height arches). Palladian arrangement to arcade to choir gallery over arcade (tall stilted central arch with lower-height flanking ones). Stone reredos (thought to be by Reginald Fairlie, 1939-40) caved in Romanesque style and incorporating stylised figures of saints; timber canopy at apex. Pair of stained glass windows, one of St David and one of St Andrew (probably post-war) to apse; circular stained glass window of St Margaret over porch at S end.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. It was originally designed with transepts and 2 towers (one at the crossing, the other at the S end). Although the plans appear to have been modified by the time it was begun, it was still intended to have been extended to the N to Rowand Anderson's design. What remains constitutes a significant part-completed design by him. Retains an attractive late 1930's reredos attributed to Reginald Fairlie. Begun on site in 1894 to provide permanent accommodation for Dunfermline's Roman Catholic worshippers. Initial funding was provided by the 3rd Marquess of Bute, Scotland's leading Catholic benefactor. Rowand Anderson was selected as architect on Lord Bute's recommendation, having rebuilt the Marquess' family home, Mount Stuart. The original scheme included a round tower in the manner of the 11th century tower at Brechin.

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