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Church Street, Inverkeithing Parish Church (St Peter's Building; Church of Scotland) Including Churchyard and Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0317 / 56°1'53"N

Longitude: -3.3969 / 3°23'48"W

OS Eastings: 313050

OS Northings: 682964

OS Grid: NT130829

Mapcode National: GBR 20.RYNL

Mapcode Global: WH6S3.SNMF

Entry Name: Church Street, Inverkeithing Parish Church (St Peter's Building; Church of Scotland) Including Churchyard and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 11 December 1972

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 379534

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35086

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Town: Inverkeithing

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Inverkeithing

Description

14th century 4-stage tower; rectangular-plan two storey plain Gothic revival nave by James Gillespie Graham, 1826; spire, 1852. Interior additions and alterations of 1900 by Peter Macgregor Chalmers. Minor 19th and early 20th century extensions to N and E. Late 14th century baptismal font; 1641 Michael Burgerhuys bell to tower. Coursed rubble to tower and to S and E elevations; ashlar to N and W elevations, and to E vestry. Geometrical tracery to tower; perpendicular tracery to E and W windows; crowstepped gables. 4 Gothic revival pitched-dormered clock faces with trefoil and decorative finials.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central corbelled 4-stage, square-plan, buttressed tower with stepped central Tudor arched and hoodmoulded entrance door; lancet windows to 2nd and 3rd stages; bipartite geometric traceried and part louvered windows to 4th stage (belfry); corbelled parapet; 4 slated dormered Gothic revival style clock faces set within 4-sided leaded spire; gilt metal weathervane atop spire; band courses to 1st and 3rd stage. 3-stage octagonal stair turret adjoing tower to right, plain door; band course above; lancet window to 2nd stage; arrow slit to 3rd stage; conical stone roof. Transomed and mullioned bipartite, hoodmoulded, pointed-arched perpendicular windows to single storey flanking aisles; banded eaves course, crowstepped gables. N aisle obscured by early 20th century single storey flat roofed vestry.

S ELEVATION: 5 plain Tudor arched windows to single storey aisle, slightly stepped below plain 2-storey nave.

E (REAR) ELEVATION: central single storey, 3-bay castellated vestry (central bay recessed) with 3 pointed arched windows, door to right return; low-walled rectangular-plan crypt fronting vestry. Large transomed and mullioned hoodmoulded pointed-arched perpendicular window to nave; similar smaller windows to slightly stepped-back flanking aisles. Banded eaves course, crowstepped gables; crucifix finial to gablehead.

N ELEVATION: as S elevation but with deep rubble base course on ground slightly falling to NE. Single storey, flat-roofed vestry extension to right, pointed traceried window.

Square leaded panes to plain windows. Grey slate roofs.

INTERIOR: porch: exposed masonry; exposed timber beams; terracotta floor tiles laid in herringbone pattern with black border; dark stained timber panelled and glazed doors; N vestry door set within pseudo four-centred arch (former N door), similar blocked arch to S (former door); low boarded door to stair turret set within three-centred arch; inscribed lintel above double doors to nave 'THE LORD LOVETH THE GATES OF ZION / MDCCCC'. Tower: narrow stone turnpike stair adjoining to SE corner; exposed original timber beams with additional timber beams of late 20th century; renewed timber floor boards to stage floors; wide arched openings to lancet windows; large cast-metal bell to upper stage. Nave and aisles: curved braces and plastered roof to nave, timber brackets to aisles; 10 paired ashlar Doric columns (2 engaged columns to E and to W); moulded pointed plaster arches between nave and aisles; stained pine pews (box pew with carved panel decoration to SE); tongue and groove timber dado; timber floorboards. Chancel: low staged chancel with central rectangular timber panelled communion table, blind Gothic tracery; timber panelled reredos of similar design with pierced tracery gallery and Gothic style finials, central gilded crucifixes (all of 1900). Oak panelled pulpit with blind Gothic tracery on octagonal stone base (1900). Carved stone hexagonal baptismal font (helraldry suggests date of circa 1398) to left of altar, scalloped stone basin, angels supporting armorial shields to each face, large roll supported by head and embattled on top at each angle; 5 short filleted shafts supporting basin with enriched capitals, separated by angular projections, resting on projecting bases on octagonal plinth; commemorative pewter lid (1945) covering font. Stained glass: S window: 1920. World War I memorial of biblical scenes (bronze plaque World War II memorial in window ledge); SE windows: 1905. Memorial to James Thrift Smith and Ann Laing depicting Saints; E window: 1856-7. Blue and red geometric stained glass with stylised foliage; NE window: A Ballantyne & Gardiner, 1900. Memorial to John Chalmers depicting Resurrection. N window: Christian Shaw, 1994. Commemorating 750 years of St Peter's church and Rev John Johnston. Memorial plaques: shouldered architraved stone plaque set in green marble to Rev William Stephen (1946); John G Robertson, 1895; Col James Cunninghame, 1793. Cast-metal bell with Latin inscription 'TO GOD'S GLORY ALONE MICHAEL BURGERHUYS MADE ME 1641' to belfry chamber.

CHURCHYARD: predominantly 18th to mid 19th century tombstones, but some earlier (earliest graves to S - John Halliday 1606). Tudor arched memorial to Capt James Scott (1767-1850), superintendant of the Queensferry Passage (1810-1839) set in S boundary wall; coped random rubble crypt enclosure to E of nave.

BOUNDARY WALLS: 18th century coped deep channelled and droved ashlar screen wall to street; base and band courses; 3 apses to N of tower, 1 to S; large segmental-arched gateways with cast-iron gate flanking to N and S of tower.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The Parish Church of St Peter is associated with the advent of Christianity to Inverkeithing burgh and the surrounding area, and its tower is probably the earliest standing building in the town. The present church was constructed on the remains of an earlier church founded 1244 by St Erat, whose holy well is located further to the NE next to Moffat Cottage (see separate listing) in Heriot Street. The church was granted to Dunfermline Abbey circa 1262-1280, after which time a Gothic building appeared. The church bell was acquired in 1641 with extra tax revenue levied on the Parish to pay for it and was made by Michael Burgerhuys, a renown 17th century bell-maker of Middleburg, Holland. In circa 1807, the N and S doors to the tower were blocked and a new entrance door was inserted to the W; about a year after, the pre-Reformation baptismal font was reportedly discovered under the floor of the tower. The base of the font was discovered separately in the churchyard. A fire in 1825 destroyed the main body of the church and afterwards J Gillespie Graham was engaged to reconstruct it. The spire was constructed in 1852, but simply took the place of one of similar design erected in 1731. The town clock was gifted by J Thrift Smith in 1883 and today (2002) is the responsibility of the Town Council who are the lawful keyholders of the clock chamber. Masonry at the base of the spire suggests that the earlier spire was probably made of stone (Stephen). In 1900, most of the interiors were renovated by Peter Macgregor Chalmers, supplying heating, new pews, reredos, communion table, and pulpit. At this time, the Town Council had also commissioned a box pew with carved symbols representing Inverkeithing Burgh.

Statutory address changed from 'Church Street, St Peter's Parish Church (Church of Scotland) including Churchyard and Boundary Walls' in 2009. St Peter's Parish Church and St John's Parish Church (see separate listing) were united on 5th November 2006 to become Inverkeithing Parish Church.

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