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Glasite Chapel, Botany Lane, Galashiels

A Category B Listed Building in Galashiels, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6181 / 55°37'5"N

Longitude: -2.8126 / 2°48'45"W

OS Eastings: 348918

OS Northings: 636352

OS Grid: NT489363

Mapcode National: GBR 83SG.WX

Mapcode Global: WH7WN.R1VY

Plus Code: 9C7VJ59P+6X

Entry Name: Glasite Chapel, Botany Lane, Galashiels

Listing Name: Botany Lane, Former Glasite Chapel

Listing Date: 31 August 1988

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 373395

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB31998

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Galashiels

County: Scottish Borders

Town: Galashiels

Electoral Ward: Galashiels and District

Traditional County: Selkirkshire

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Description

Circa 1842. single and 2-storey 5-bay rectangular-plan former chapel and house (now disused, 2005). Whinstone rubble. Pointed-arch windows to chapel. Projecting semicircular stair to rear, flat-roofed extension to SW.

FRONT (SE) ELEVATION: former chapel to right. 3 bays, 2 with tall pointed-arch windows. 2-bay 2-storey house to left. 2 adjacent single doors.

Timber sash and case windows, predominately 12-pane. Y-tracery to chapel windows. Purple slate roof. 2 gable stacks, one a brick replacement.

INTERIOR: layout somewhat altered to extend upper floor into chapel. Some original finishes survive; joinery and simple plaster cornices. Cast iron fireplace and stove to house. Timber stair.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Botany Mill and Morrison and Murray Engineering Works (see separate listings).

The Glasite Chapel or Meeting house in Botany Lane is one of only a small number of such structures in Scotland. It is of particular interest as a surviving meeting-place of this relatively rare sect, and also for its architectural interest, with a house and chapel contained within one uniform and simple structure. The location of the chapel is unusual, situated as it is in a predominantly industrial area, emphasising the marginal nature of the sect within Galashiels.

Glasites (or Glassites) were the followers of John Glas (1695-1773), who was removed from his ministry in the established church in 1730 for his non-conformist views. There were only a very small number of Glasite congregations in Scotland, but the sect spread to England and America, known as 'Sandemanians'. The chapel is referred to locally as the 'Kail Kirk', as the Glasites' Sunday services included a communal meal.

The congregation which used this chapel were originally based in Darnick, by Melrose, where they had been since 1768. They moved to the Old Town of Galashiels in 1775, before re-locating to the present location in 1842. By 1898, however, they had moved out of the building, as Hall refers to the Glasites as having 'no stated place of worship'.

Since then the building has had a variety of uses and was used for a time as part of the nearby engineering works.

The house attached to the chapel is most likely to have been built for a housekeeper, who maintained the chapel and cooked the Sunday meal. The Glasite Meeting House in Edinburgh includes such accommodation.

The fenestration has been altered. An early photograph shows the chapel 3 bays long. The central bay on the front elevation originally had a tall pointed fanlight above the door. Only some of the openings retain their rendered margins. A wallhead stack on the front elevation of the house has been removed. Part of the boundary wall survives to the front and side.

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