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St Serf's Church, Ferry Road, Edinburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.972 / 55°58'19"N

Longitude: -3.2053 / 3°12'19"W

OS Eastings: 324869

OS Northings: 676101

OS Grid: NT248761

Mapcode National: GBR 8L6.7P

Mapcode Global: WH6SL.Q5V3

Plus Code: 9C7RXQCV+RV

Entry Name: St Serf's Church, Ferry Road, Edinburgh

Listing Name: Ferry Road, St Serf's Church (Church of Scotland), with Boundary Wall, Gates and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 12 December 1974

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 364744

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB27522

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Forth

Traditional County: Midlothian

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G Mackie Watson, 1901 (chancel not completed until 1925), with single storey extension containing session house, kitchens etc (Alan Keith Robertson, 1924) and later hall (George Read, 1960). Decorated Gothic church with polygonal apse to E, projecting porch to SW and S transept (N transept, tower and spire not built - see Notes). Squared and snecked stugged pale (Ravelston) sandstone with red (Braids) sandstone dressings (1924 extension in matching stone, 1960 extension pebble-dashed). Projecting base course; continuous parapet; cross finials on ends of roof ridge.

S ELEVATION: entrance in projecting porch with buttressed corners and castellated parapet in left bay; 2-leaf boarded timber door in stop-chamfered pointed-arched doorpiece with squared, dentilled hoodmould; narrow cusped windows in returns; paired narrow cusped windows above, flanked by gabletted buttresses. 3-light windows with cusped curvilinear tracery in pointed-arched openings with hoodmoulds and cill course, flanked by gabletted buttresses, in 3 subsequent bays. Projecting S transept; 2 tall 3-light windows with curvilinear tracery in pointed-arched openings with hoodmoulds and label stops, flanked by buttresses, with banded gable course above. Hoodmoulded 3-light window to vestry (base of intended tower) to right.

E ELEVATION: entrance to stair tower and vestry to left; hoodmoulded stop-chamfered pointed arched doorpiece giving access to 3-sided open porch; 2 angled doors in chamfered, depressed-arched surrounds; small cusped window between; 2 narrow windows off-set to left above. Piend-roofed polygonal apse with decorative castellated parapet, gargoyles and buttressed corners adjoining cross-finialled gable-end of church; 3 2-light windows with cusped Perpendicular tracery in hoodmoulded pointed-arched openings with projecting cill course. Single storey extension containing session room, choir room, kitchens etc (completed 1925) adjoins to right, then 1960 extension with hall.

W ELEVATION: boarded timber door to 2-storey polygonal projection (containing stairs to gallery) in pointed-arched and hoodmoulded surround to left. 2 tall 3-light windows with cusped curvilinear tracery (cut across by galleries) in centre gabled bay, with small pointed window above; flanked by narrow recessed bays with small rectangular windows at ground floor.

N ELEVATION: complete only to position of (unbuilt) N transept. Piend-roofed projection containing stairs to gallery to right, with narrow cusped windows in end 3 facets. 3, 3-light windows with cusped curvilinear tracery in pointed-arched openings flanked by buttresses, in 3 subsequent bays. 3 blank bays to left rendered.

INTERIOR: timber panelled and ribbed tunnel roof. Tall arcades (blank at N transept) with passage aisles. Gallery cuts windows to W. Polygonal chancel with stained glass in 3, 2-light windows (Gordon Webster 1970); oak pulpit designed by Watson; painted choir screen by Pilkington Jackson (1926).

Leaded stained glass windows with cusped tracery. Greenish Westmorland slates. Stone coped skews with gabletted skewputts; terracotta ridge.

BOUNDARY WALL, GATES AND GATEPIERS: low red sandstone-coped boundary wall. Polygonal red sandstone, decoratively capped gatepiers with gothic ornament to Ferry Road. Decorative gothic wrought-iron gates to Ferry Road and Clark Road; cast-iron gateposts to Clark Road.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The site for the church was feued from the Heriot Trust in 1899. An 'iron church' (obtained from Messrs Spiers of Glasgow) was erected on the site as a temporary measure. As a result of a limited competition (10 architects being invited to submit designs, including Robert Lorimer), George Mackie Watson was appointed, having taken both 1st and 2nd places (both designs illustrated in Academy Architecture 1901 vol 1. The 2nd design shows a smaller tower at the crossing). The chosen design - the more ambitious, and expensive of the 2 submitted, showing a square section tower at the SE corner, surmounted by a tall, slender spire (exhibited in the RSA in 1901) - was altered, and never completed. The 'iron church' was situated directly to the N of the nave (inhibiting the construction of the N transept), and remained in use as a hall until 1960. The chancel was completed in 1925 to Watson's design as a war memorial, with the words 'Greater love hath no man...' painted over the chancel arch. The 12 painted wooden blocks above the nave arches were originally carved for the refurbishing of St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney, and were installed in the 1950's. (Watson was the architect for the restoration of Kirkwall Cathedral - also after a competition - which may explain the connection.)

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