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Portland Street, West High Church of Scotland and Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6124 / 55°36'44"N

Longitude: -4.4967 / 4°29'48"W

OS Eastings: 242844

OS Northings: 638252

OS Grid: NS428382

Mapcode National: GBR 3G.MJVQ

Mapcode Global: WH3Q9.W6X8

Entry Name: Portland Street, West High Church of Scotland and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 3 July 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 380647

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35957

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmarnock

County: East Ayrshire

Town: Kilmarnock

Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Kilmarnock

Description

Cousin and Gale (architects, Edinburgh), 1844. Hall, 1849; session house, 1859. Free Gothic, rectangular-plan church, extended to N and S, 4-stage tower at east. Polished cream ashlar sandstone church with coursed rubble buildings to flanks. Corbelled pinnacles to angles, buttresses and tower. Base, band and stage courses.

E (PRINICPAL) ELEVATION: round-arched entrance at base of buttressed tower, pair of similarly arched windows above; clock on each face in 3rd stage, 4th stage set back above stepped string with round arched belfry openings. Crenellated parapet and angle finials. Low gabled bays flank base of tower with angle pinnacles and pierced quatrefoil-detailed parapets, single arched door to returns.

S ELEVATION: 5-bay body of church, tall round-arched 1860 windows rising into architraved stepped triangular gableheads, stone finials surmounting. Single storey, 5-bay hall with door additional door to right adjoining to 1st bay and extending S.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: gable with lower rectangular organ chamber (1897) projecting: tall central arched window with lower arched windows to flanks, blind to each return.

N ELEVATION: 5-bay body of church, tall round-arched 1860 windows rising into architraved stepped triangular gablehead, stone finials surmounting. Single storey session house of 1859, similar detailing as church attached to right and projecting N.

Arched windows with square quarry to most bays of all elevations. Piended grey slate roof to church, hall and session house. Lead ridging, flashing and valleys. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: galleries on 3 sides, supported on cast-iron Corinthian columns, upper columns support elaborately beamed roof. Ornate pipe organ to W within recessed arch, gothic timber fretwork to case. Plain timber pews and panelling. Semi-glazed double doors leading from entrance porch into main body of church. Later lighting.

BOUNDARY WALLS: low coursed ashlar wall with sloped copes and much later plain wrought-iron railings.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The site on which the church stands was previously a wooded garden area adjacent to the Bowling Green. The lane that runs behind the church still bears the name "Garden Street". The church was built as a Free Church after the 1843 Disruption, along with St Andrew's Church. Originally, the church was called the Free High church, but became known as the West High Church, due to its geographical position in relation to the High Church across the road. In 1876 there was a further secession from this church. The breakaway congregation formed the Grange Free Church in Woodstock Street (by J & RS Ingram, listed separately). Although the church was only constructed in 1844 at a cost of ?3000, by 1883 the 1228 sitting church had had over ?1000 spent on alteration and enlargement. The hall sited to the S of the church was built around the same time. The round-arched windows here are indicative of how the nave of the church may have appeared before the new arched and gabled windows were raised in 1860. The church sits within its own private garden ground with trees flanking the main entrance. The church also has a war memorial on its external wall.

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