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Brucefield Avenue, St Leonard's Church (Church of Scotland), Including Boundary Wall and Gatepiers and Church Hall to East

A Category B Listed Building in Dunfermline, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0667 / 56°4'0"N

Longitude: -3.4541 / 3°27'14"W

OS Eastings: 309563

OS Northings: 686942

OS Grid: NT095869

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.PXMC

Mapcode Global: WH5QR.XSB1

Entry Name: Brucefield Avenue, St Leonard's Church (Church of Scotland), Including Boundary Wall and Gatepiers and Church Hall to East

Listing Date: 12 January 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 362496

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26024

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Town: Dunfermline

Electoral Ward: Dunfermline Central

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Peter MacGregor Chalmers, 1903-04 (hall completed 1908). Rectangular-plan church orientated E/W with 5-bay nave and irregular shorter aisles (that to N is almost full height with separate pitched roof, that to S adjoins short transept) and apsidal E end; L-shaped hall attached to E. Romanesque design with narrow round-arched openings (apart from to hall) and conical-roofed circular-plan tower of Celtic derivation. Coursed rockfaced sandstone rubble with droved ashlar dressings. Base course to tower only; band course below windows/at cill level to nave proper. Long and short surrounds to most openings; chamfered reveals to larger windows; chamfered cills only to smaller ones. Coped gables.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: steps up to shallow gabled ashlar porch to outer left of nave; plain tympanum set back within moulded round-arched opening; replacement 2-leaf boarded timber door. Window above; shorter clerestory window to 3 bays to right; paired narrow windows set forward to 3-bay lean-to aisle below (single window to its left return). Gable end of transept projects to outer right bay; tall narrow hood-moulded window to centre.

N ELEVATION: projecting lean-to roofed section occupies most of outer right bay of nave; small window to left; entrance with roll-moulded surround and 2-leaf boarded timber door to right return; window above to left. 4-bay aisle set forward to left; window to upper level to each bay; paired windows to each bay below; tall narrow window to gable to right return.

W END: pair of large windows to cross-finialled shouldered gable end of nave; tall buttress to centre.

E END: conical-roofed apse projects to centre; 2 windows. Cross finialled gable end of nave set back behind. Gable end of N aisle adjoins to right; low harled projecting passage connects to hall. Circular-plan tower adjoins apse to left (obscuring S transept).

TOWER: slightly tapered; 6-storey; circular-plan with conical roof situated to S of apse. Architraved round-arched entrance with inner and outer roll-mouldings; boarded timber door with circular handle. Small windows to alterate faces; round-arched one to ground floor; triangular-headed one to 1st floor; arrowhead lights to upper levels; larger round-arched window with flanking nook-shafts and moulded head to each of 4 cardinal points to top storey.

Fixed-pane leaded lights, many with stained glass. Grey slate roofs. Single wallhead stack to N aisle.

INTERIOR: open arch-braced timber roof. Round-arched arcades supported on circular piers with cushion capitals to nave (S arcade lower with clerestory above). Timber gallery to N aisle decorated with heraldic shields (carved in 1920's at local craft school and relating to key figures in the Scottish Wars of Independence). Painting of risen Christ and associated figures to apse ceiling, 1927 by A Samuel, head of local craft school. Various stained glass windows: pair of St Andrew and St Leonard (World War I memorials) in apse, circa 1920; pair at W end of nave of Christ as 'Bread of Life' and 'True Vine' and one of 'Good Shepherd' above main entrance, all 1920's by Abbey Studio; King David (1930) and Madonna and Child (probably earlier) in S aisle; St Mungo (1968) and Moses (1951 by Abbey Studio) in N aisle. Circular stone font carved with interlaced Romanesque arcading; carved Gothic font cover and lectern 1920's by Dr MacMillan, a local preacher. Communion table, prayer desks and pulpit thought to be original furnishings. Apse chairs by local architect, R H Motion. Pair of 7-branched candelabra based on those in the Temple at Jerusalem made at local craft school. Organ 1910 by Henry Willis and Sons Ltd. Plain timber pews.

HALL: single storey; 6-bay; L-plan. Attached to N aisle of church via single storey harled passage. W ELEVATION: round-arched entrance to right; 2-leaf boarded timber door with strap hinges. 3 regularly fenestrated bays to left (chamfered cills). Gable end adjoining connecting passage adjoins to outer left; window to right return. E ELEVATION: harled. 6 regularly fenestrated bays (chamfered ashlar architraves). S GABLE END: tall round-arched window to centre; flanking outer buttresses. N ELEVATION: harled gable end. Window set back to right. Late 20th century hall projects to outer right. Replacement timber windows with top hoppers. Grey slate roof. Wallhead stack to left of W gable; round cans.

BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: low coursed rockfaced sandstone rubble boundary wall to S and W; piers at intervals; squared ashlar coping (partially replaced) chamfered to outer edge and surmounted by replacement railings. 2 pairs of gatepiers to S; both with ridged coping decorated with cross patee to outer face; wrought-iron gates to that to E. Taller sandstone rubble wall with chamfered ashlar coping to N.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. An important early 20th century church incorporating Romanesque and early Christian features. The distinctive tower is based on those of the early Celtic Church in Scotland (it probably derives from early examples at Brechin and Abernethy). Peter MacGregor Chalmers was a distinguished scholar of medieval architecture as well as an architect and he was responsible for a number of restoration projects, including the rebuilding of the nave of Iona Cathedral. St Leonard's was built with a legacy from William McLaren, a Dunfermline manufacturer, to replace an earlier corrugated iron church which had been erected here in 1894. The original hall occupied the site of the corridor connecting to the present hall (which became a corridor when the larger hall was added a few years later). The new hall on the N side was built in 1987.

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