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Balbirnie Street, United Presbyterian Church

A Category B Listed Building in Markinch, Fife

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Latitude: 56.2033 / 56°12'11"N

Longitude: -3.1376 / 3°8'15"W

OS Eastings: 329518

OS Northings: 701774

OS Grid: NO295017

Mapcode National: GBR 2B.F31Y

Mapcode Global: WH6RG.SB2S

Entry Name: Balbirnie Street, United Presbyterian Church

Listing Date: 24 November 1972

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 382815

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB37675

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Markinch

County: Fife

Town: Markinch

Electoral Ward: Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch

Traditional County: Fife

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Hippolyte J Blanc, 1896-8, converted to flats 1993. Gothic detailed church; 6-bay nave with aisle to W below swept roof between transept and porch, prominent pagoda-style ventilator at ridge; single storey hall adjoining at S. Squared and snecked bull-faced rubble, polished ashlar dressings, single and saw-tooth coped battered buttresses; chamfered coping to base course, partial string course, block eaves course; reticulated stone-tracery to windows (pointed and square-headed), hoodmoulds, chamfered reveals. Metal window grilles to E and W.

N (STREET) ELEVATION: gable end with string course below large 6-light traceried window at centre below hoodmould extending across 2nd and 3rd stage of flanking gablet-coped buttresses and terminating in grotesque label-stops, blind tracery in stonework at gablehead; single stage angle buttress to outer left and modern timber door below slate canopy to right, further single stage angle buttress with carved inscription ?This memorial stone was laid by JHB Melville Esq (PCM?) 19th Sep. 1896? beyond adjoining porch with glazed oculus below string course.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: large projecting transept gable to right with 4-light plate-traceried window below hoodmould, and flanking gabletted, 2-stage angle buttresses; 3 3-light traceried windows to single storey centre (some tracery removed) with modern windows and with roof swept down from nave; smaller projecting entrance gable to outer left with part-blinded pointed-arch doorway to right converted to window and small window to left; decorative slate-hung ventilator with weathervane at ridge slightly to right of centre. Lower hall adjoining at outer right, projecting gable to right with window, depressed arch recess with doorway to left (modern door and flanking narrow cusped windows), carved corbel to drip moulding and stepped coping.

E ELEVATION: 6-bay nave with traceried windows (modern glazing), angled buttress to outer right, shouldered stack to left and 6 modern rooflights close to eaves; new window on return to left, lower recessed hall to left with 2 bipartite traceried windows and 4 modern rooflights.

S ELEVATION: lower projecting gable of hall with square-headed window and hoodmould at centre, narrow opening at gablehead.

N window with frosted glass lights and red-painted timber infill; modern hardwood windows elsewhere. Graded grey slates. Coped ashlar stack and ashlar coped skews with moulded skewputts; cast-iron downpipes with decorative hoppers and decorative cast-iron air vents, traceried to roof ventilator.

INTERIOR: virtually no evidence of original interior; some decorative stone corbels retained. (See notes).

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building no longer in use as such. Converted to

6 apartments 1993. The RCAHMS survey has recorded details of the interior having had 4 pointed and depressed arches, moulded brackets and corbels, polygonal piers, a very wide, flattened N arch and wooden roof beams over the W aisle. According to Cunningham, Hippolyte Blanc regarded this as "one of the prettiest of the many churches he has designed in Scotland", he continues "locally it is known as ?The Cathedral?, and the cost was approximately ?3300".

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