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Old Parish Church, Montgomery Street, East Kilbride

A Category B Listed Building in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire

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Latitude: 55.7648 / 55°45'53"N

Longitude: -4.1764 / 4°10'34"W

OS Eastings: 263547

OS Northings: 654525

OS Grid: NS635545

Mapcode National: GBR 3V.9ZP0

Mapcode Global: WH4QT.TCFH

Plus Code: 9C7QQR7F+WF

Entry Name: Old Parish Church, Montgomery Street, East Kilbride

Listing Name: Montgomery Street, Old Parish Church

Listing Date: 15 March 1963

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 363266

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26615

Building Class: Cultural

Location: East Kilbride

County: South Lanarkshire

Town: East Kilbride

Electoral Ward: East Kilbride Central North

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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East Kilbride


James Pollock, 1776; Robert Pollock, 1818, added tower; William Pomphrey, 1862, added porch to S elevation; 1921 Vestry / War Memorial added. Square plan, piend roof church; 4-stage tower with crown spire. Coursed rubble for church and 1st stage of tower; upper 3 stages of tower, ashlar. Band course at each stage of tower. Raised margins; round-arched doors and windows have keystones and blocks at springing point of arch.

E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central projecting steeple: round-arched entrance door, with raised margins; timber plaque with date and architect engraved above; oculus above; pointed arched windows at 2nd stage; blind pointed arched windows on returns of 2nd stage; smaller pointed arched windows at 3rd stage; clock on all 4 faces of 4th stage; mock-torelles; half-crenallated cornice; crown spire and weather-vane. Door to left; single window above. Single storey, lean-to war memorial to right: projecting centre with rectangular window with tracery; segmental pediment, with cross at top, above listing names of those lost during WWI; 2 cusped lancets with hoodmoulds on right return; fleur-de-lys and date 1921 between; single window above war memorial.

S ELEVATION: central, single storey, crenallated porch with tripartite window on S face and door on right return; plaque, blind square window and oculus above; large round-arched windows flank at either side; single window in end bays at ground floor; single windows, square in proportion above at 1st floor.

N ELEVATION: round-arched door in centre at ground; blocked openings in outer bays; 3 single windows, square in proportion above.

W ELEVATION: round-arched windows in centre at ground, formerly a door; single windows flanking; 3 single windows, square in proportion above; modern door to left.

Astragal glazing to steeple; small-paned windows to church; some stained glass. Slate roof with fleche.


TOWER: wooden steps lead up to each stage; 19th century clock still working: green cast-iron frame and 'gold' cogs; 1881 bell in spire.

ROOF: large flat floor, roof supported by 4 full and 2 half-timber trusses; roof accessed through small opening in upper gallery.

CHURCH: plain interior with wooden pews; pentagonal gallery supported on slender cast-iron colonettes; simple communion furniture; stained glass windows on S front; modern organ.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Old Parish Church Kirkyard. The contract for the church was drawn up on April 1774. The contract was to build a replacement church; the site had been used for Christian worship for almost 1000 years. East Kilbride church was confirmed to the Bishops of Glasgow in 1178, by a bull from Pope Alexander III. The new church cost ?570 and was modelled on Shettleston Parish Kirk; at this point the steeple was only to reach the height of the walls. In 1818, the decision was made to add to the steeple and Robert Pollock was paid ?250 for completing the crown spire. This is an unusual and highly distinctive feature for a parish church; the most famed example of this type is St Giles High Kirk in Edinburgh. The church was re-roofed and repaired in 1838. This coincided with the construction of a new manse for the minister on Strathaven Road. The clock dates from 1818, the same year as the spire was completed. Initially, there were only three clock faces, the W face being blank. However, this was changed in 1927 when an extra clock face was installed. The earliest known bell to have rung in East Kilbride was cast in 1590 by Peter Van den Ghein, who was one of the pre-eminent bellfounders of the 16th century. This bell had to be replaced in 1689; its overuse to celebrate the defeat of Claverhouse at Killiecrankie cracked it. A later bell suffered a similar fate. In 1881, a bell cracked whilst announcing the assassination of the Russian Tsar. The current bell is known as the Hunner Bell and was installed in 1881. It was cast by the Glasgow firm, John C Wilson and Co, and is celebrated in a poem by Alexander Watt: 'Noo mornig and e'ening a heart-heezing knell / Comes melodiously grand from the Hunner Pound Bell'.

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