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Broughton Place Church, Broughton Place, Edinburgh

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9592 / 55°57'32"N

Longitude: -3.1873 / 3°11'14"W

OS Eastings: 325968

OS Northings: 674651

OS Grid: NT259746

Mapcode National: GBR 8PC.W9

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.0GHZ

Plus Code: 9C7RXR57+M3

Entry Name: Broughton Place Church, Broughton Place, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 33 and 35 Broughton Place, Formerly Broughton Place Church and Offices

Listing Date: 16 June 1966

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 363578

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26771

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Church building Place of worship

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Archibald Elliot, 1820-21. Classical, symmetrical rectangular-plan church with 2-storey prostyle tetrastyle portico; 2-storey, 5-bay principal elevation; basement storey below street level to rear. Polished ashlar (coursed squared rubble with droved margins and quoins to side and rear). Dividing band between basement and ground floor; eaves course and cornice; blocking course. Long and short quoins to rear and side elevations. Predominantly regular fenestration; round-arched openings; segmental-arched openings to basement and ground floors to sides and rear.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central 3 bays slightly advanced, with single pilaster to left and right; single bay to either side of advanced section with paired pilasters to outer left and right. To 3 central openings, 2-leaf timber panelled doors and fanlights with radiating glazing pattern. Extending from advanced section, stylobate and Greek Doric portico with stop-fluted columns supporting Greek Doric entablature and pediment.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation. Timber door to left bay. Band course broken by advanced organ bay to centre (see Notes); canted lower section; cantilevered upper section with rounded corbel beneath to left and right, rendered band and complex moulded string course to base; bowed flanks each with single round-arched window.

NW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 4-bay elevation; door with semi-segmental fanlight to left to basement. To right corner, pair of antae to ground and 1st floor. Blind windows to outer right bay to ground and 1st floor.

SE (SIDE) ELEVATION: 4-bay elevation. To left corner, pair of antae to ground and 1st floor. Blind windows to outer right bay to ground and 1st floor.

GLAZING etc: 8-pane glazing upper sashes and 6 pane lower in timber sash and case windows to round-arched openings; 16-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to segmental-arched openings (see Notes); 14-pane glazing in fixed frame to organ bay windows. Platform roof; grey slate. 1 wallhead stack to centre and 1 wallhead stack to left to NW elevation; 1 wallhead stack to centre to rear elevation; 1 wallhead stack to centre to SE elevation.

INTERIOR: square vestibule with gallery stair halls flanking to left and right, separated by round-headed arches; fluted doorcases. Tudor double memorial panel above doorway to basement stair in central vestibule. Main auditorium at ground floor, square with apsidal entrance end; U shaped gallery to 1st floor level (see Notes). Gallery supported by cast iron columns with foliated capitals; Romanesque timber blind arcading to gallery parapet; cavetto moulding below. To NE end, Doric pilasters and entablature framing organ aperture. To ceiling, panelled border to outside, ornate plaster rose to centre.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building no longer in use as such.

This building is an important example of the work of Archibald Elliot, one of Scotland's leading architects in the early 19th century, and also unusual due to his adoption of the Greek Revival style for an ecclesiastical commission. The church also performs a significant streetscape role, strongly terminating the vista down Broughton Place. It is stylistically valuable as an element of the Greek Revival phase of architectural activity for which Edinburgh was renowned in the early 19th century.

The church was built for the Rev. James Hall's newly formed United Associate Synod congregation; construction began in May 1820 and the church opened for its first service in May 1821; the cost of the building was #7100, 10s, 1d. However, it latterly became better known as Dr John Brown's Chapel, after its second minister. A plan and elevation signed by Elliot shows that he originally intended the building to have a tower and spire, but, perhaps for financial reasons, these were never built. The ceiling rose in the auditorium originally held a large octagonal gasolier, which was removed in 1853.

In 1870 John Paterson remodelled the interior, adding the Romanesque detailing to the gallery and the decorative capitals to its cast iron columns. He replaced Elliot's pews, installed a new pulpit, and made alterations to the windows, including the addition of colonnettes and stained glass. The original grey painted walls and ceilings were rejected in favour of a scheme of brown walls, plenty of dark stained wood panelling, and the ceiling panelling stencilled in various colours. The alterations to the windows and decorative scheme have subsequently been reversed (the glazing to the side elevations was replaced in 2001). The organ bay and large Renaissance organ screen was built by George Washington Browne in 1890.

Broughton Place Church featured in the 1981 multi-Oscar winning film Chariots of Fire. The Broughton McDonald congregation left in 1991 and most of the interior furnishings were dispersed; the organ and organ screen were relocated to a church in Italy. The building is currently (2002) in use as an antiques showroom and sales room.

External Links

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