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Bridgegate, Trinity Church, Latterly Community Centre, with Hall, Approach Wall, Piers and Railings

A Category A Listed Building in Irvine, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.6137 / 55°36'49"N

Longitude: -4.6685 / 4°40'6"W

OS Eastings: 232030

OS Northings: 638801

OS Grid: NS320388

Mapcode National: GBR 38.M7S1

Mapcode Global: WH2P3.8558

Entry Name: Bridgegate, Trinity Church, Latterly Community Centre, with Hall, Approach Wall, Piers and Railings

Listing Date: 14 April 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 379992

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35410

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Irvine

County: North Ayrshire

Town: Irvine

Electoral Ward: Irvine West

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Frederick Thomas Pilkington, 1863. Romantic gothic (Venetian inspired) church with spire and adjoining hall, in compact, rippling plan on steeply falling ground by River Irvine. Bull-faced coursed rubble with contrasting stugged dressings and red sandstone ashlar band courses and alternating voussoirs. Hall distinguished by plainer treatment and absence of red sandstone. Pointed arch openings. Foliaceous carving, much-weathered in places. Steeply pitched stone finialled gables with polychrome 'sunburst' masonry and steep roofs.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: substantial battered gabled bay to right with tower and spire recessed to left and gabled porch in re-entrant angle. Stone porch on squat red sandstone column to NW with apparently uncarved block capital, and banded pier with leaf carving to right and sandstone cusping to arch; stone balcony to porch with indented trefoil motif; paired doors with heavy block capital overhanging central pier. Tower with heavy corner buttresses to squat 1st stage, battered with ashlar coping to polygonal stone spire with contrasting fishscale banding, corner pinnacles on red sandstone colonnettes with cusped arches, between steeply gabled lucarnes with pointed arch cusp- bipartite, louvred openings with quatrefoils in arch-heads. Gable to right symmetrical with loggia at ground comprised of broader, taller central arch on banded squat columns flanked by smaller paired openings each side with central red sandstone columns and decoratively carved contrasting capitals; 2 windows above with deeply recessed paired, cusped, windows with cinquefoils in gableheads and sawtooth coped ashlar steeply sloping cills. Italianate wheel window set in recessed pointed arch panel with squat capitalled colonnettes supporting corbelled arch, and decoratively carved ornament to boss and surround, and contrasting sandstone to spokes.

N ELEVATION: broad canted 'transept' projection to centre, with decorative bipartite to taller centre gable, decoratively corbelled to gablehead with vesica, 3-light, colonnetted window under eaves to left, and corbelled colonnettes to deep-set door in advanced stone doorpiece to left; tower to right with further colonnette-flanked door on return to E at ground; and North European style, polygonal 'bell-tower' with battered base, fishscale slates to polygonal roof with decoratively boarded shaft to polygonally capped bell chamber at apex. Hall beyond at right angles (see below).

S ELEVATION: canted elevation of opposing transept, with 2 bays of 3-light windows to right and taller gable breaking eaves to centre, detailed as opposite bays to N elevation, with further 3-light to left; bays beyond comprising return of steep W gable with irregular openings including entrance to loggia.

Some openings blinded. Plate glass glazing to windows without cases, direct into stone (after Alexander Thomson). Graded grey slates with fishscale to bell chamber roof. Boarded 2-leaf doors with distinctive Pilkingtonian scallop-carved detailing. Stone stacks to angle of E gable and to left flank of canted bays to S.

INTERIOR: high windows and centrally-oriented space articulated with

4 ornately carved stone columns (each different) supporting in-canted sections of rippling plan and finely carved capitals; fittings partly removed for use by community centre. Polychrome voussoirs to colonnette-mullioned openings and blind recesses. Plain shaped stone and decoratively carved corbels supporting fine open timber roof, barleysugar carving to queenposts. Chevron boarded doors and gallery front with barleysugar posts. Stained glass to wheel window.

HALL: gabled rectangular-plan hall adjoined to NE of church, with pyramidally-roofed, louvred birdcage bellcote to ridge. 3-light windows to SW elevation with gabled stone porch to left entered from left return, depressed arch doorway. Paired lancets to NW gable with cusped vesica in gablehead. Plate glass glazing. Stack to SE gablehead. Grey slates. Facetted barrel roof to interior.

WALLS, PIERS AND RAILINGS: sturdy, squat bull-faced stone piers flanking path up to church from Bridgegate with truncated pyramidal caps. Coped bull-faced wall lining path to church. Wrought-iron railings with floreate cast-iron (?) finials demarking stages.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building no longer in use as such. Latterly serving as multi-functional community centre, recently (1996) bought by Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust for restoration and suitable re-use. The Pilkington design shows the influence of Butterfield's polychromy and 'tent-roof' designs, and the carving applauded in Ruskin's publication, The Stones of Venice. As Close identifies, the soubriquet 'Rogue Gothic' is unquestionably appropriate here. A strong parallel in Pilkington's work can be found at the contemporary Barclay- Bruntsfield Church in Edinburgh.

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