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Dysart, West Port, St Serf's Church of Scotland with Boundary Walls, Gatepiers, Gates and Railings

A Category B Listed Building in Kirkcaldy, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.1257 / 56°7'32"N

Longitude: -3.1251 / 3°7'30"W

OS Eastings: 330158

OS Northings: 693121

OS Grid: NT301931

Mapcode National: GBR 2B.L5VM

Mapcode Global: WH6RV.Z919

Entry Name: Dysart, West Port, St Serf's Church of Scotland with Boundary Walls, Gatepiers, Gates and Railings

Listing Date: 8 May 1975

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 381206

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB36427

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kirkcaldy

County: Fife

Town: Kirkcaldy

Electoral Ward: Kirkcaldy East

Traditional County: Fife

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Dysart

Description

Campbell Douglas & Sellars, 1874. Cruciform-plan, Romanesque church on ground falling steeply to S, with 3-bay aisless nave, square section porch to E, apsidal transepts and chancel, crossing tower and squat broach spire, round stair tower to SE. Squared and snecked dressed rubble with bull-faced dressings. 2-stage, saw-tooth coped battered buttresses to tower; moulded string courses to porch and tower. Round-headed windows with stepped architraves; clasping buttresses; nookshafts with cushion and moulded capitals; chamfered reveals and stone mullions.

E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: advanced gabled porch to centre with steps up to deeply moulded doorcase with flanking paired cushion-capitalled nookshafts, deeply moulded pediment with tympanum dated '1874' and round-headed niche with flanking nookshafts and roundels; square-headed 2-leaf boarded timber door with moulded arrises and roundels over lintel: window to each return and 3-stage coped and battered buttress to left. Bay immediately to left with advanced, conical-roofed stair tower and 2 narrow windows. Recessed face of nave behind with 3-light arcaded window at 2nd stage and Celtic-cross finial to gablehead.

TOWER: squat tower rising above apsidal transepts. Clasping buttresses to outer angles, 2-light arcaded windows high up to N, S and W, and narrow square-headed lights flanking ridge of nave to E; continuous string course and small parapet giving way to broach spire with tall, finialled, timber-louvered fleche to each face and decorative ball-and-spike finial.

N ELEVATION: 2 stage nave with 3 windows to ground and 2 windows to right of centre above; conical-roofed, rounded apse with 5 windows projecting from base of tower to right.

S ELEVATION: as N elevation but with 5 square-headed windows to raised basement.

W ELEVATION: 5-windowed chancel projection as above but enveloped at ground by out-of-character modern flat-roofed extension.

Multi-pane leaded and margined lights (stained glass see below). Grey slates; stone slabs to stair tower. Ashlar-coped skews and moulded skewputts.

INTERIOR: fixed timber pews with individual umbrella racks; boarded timber dadoes. Crossing with quadripartite ribbed vault, and chancel arch springing from Ionic columns, adjacent corbels giving way to arches of vaulted apsidal transepts. Chancel with raised pulpit (carved with traceried decoration) to centre and panelled backdrop (altered) flanking pipe organ. Nave with steeply raked gallery supported on 2 cast-iron columns, panelled front with clock to centre and box pews to front. Porch with decorative plasterwork cornice; squat cushion-capitalled column to centre of Caernarvon-arched opening with moulded pediment and bronze memorial plaque to James Meikle on tympanum; turnpike stair with barley-twist cast-iron balusters and timber handrail; marble memorial tablets to 'Lavinia Reddie' and 'Margaret Durie'. Round hall (see Notes) to basement. Stained glass depicting Biblical scenes to outer windows of each transept, and modern design to N porch window.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS, GATES AND RAILINGS: low, ashlar-coped rubble boundary walls with square-section step-coped gatepiers and ironwork arch, gates and inset railings.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The 'new' St Serfs was built at a cost of £3500 for Dysart Free Church. Gifford recognises it as a version of the medieval St Monans Parish Church. The congregation of Dysart Barony Church joined with the Kirk in 1972. The N transept contains a mural (now painted over) by Charles Rennie Mackintosh October 1901; the work was invoiced by Honeyman & Keppie at £10 in fees for "decorations". Described in DECORATIVE KUNST IX (1902), the design showed "The dove of peace and the tree of knowledge, the latter represented by three rings - good, evil and eternity". A photograph is held at the National Library. A door immediately to right of the pulpit gives access to the basement with vestry and modernised Round Hall (session house) which originally had a centre column.

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