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North Church, Main Street, Chirnside

A Category C Listed Building in Chirnside, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.8021 / 55°48'7"N

Longitude: -2.209 / 2°12'32"W

OS Eastings: 386994

OS Northings: 656555

OS Grid: NT869565

Mapcode National: GBR F10B.KY

Mapcode Global: WH9Y8.1FCD

Plus Code: 9C7VRQ2R+R9

Entry Name: North Church, Main Street, Chirnside

Listing Name: Chirnside, Crosshill, Chirnside Community Centre (Former Chirnside North Church) Including Ancillary Block and Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 6 September 1999

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393624

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46340

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Chirnside

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Parish: Chirnside

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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1898, on site of previous church; converted for use as community centre, later 20th century. Near rectangular-plan, plain gothic former Free Church set on prominent corner site with near-symmetrical, gabled elevation to front; single storey ancillary block recessed to side. Squared and snecked tooled cream sandstone (tooled rubble at rear); sandstone ashlar dressings. Projecting string courses to front at ground and upper floors; moulded eaves courses throughout. Droved quoins; droved long and short surrounds to pointed-arched openings; chamfered cills.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: slightly advanced, 3-bay gabled projection breaking eaves at centre with small windows in all bays at ground; buttresses to outer left and right; 3 large windows above with linked hoodmoulds and carved foliate stops; polygonal sandstone belfry surmounting gablehead with small openings in alternate facets, tapering sandstone spire. 2-storey bay recessed to right with 2-leaf timber panelled door centred at ground; decorative iron hinges; 3 small windows in blocked, pointed-arched fanlight; hoodmould with carved foliate stops; small window aligned above; chamfered corner to outer right with small single window at upper floor. 2-storey bay recessed to left of centre with small single windows centred at both floors; chamfered corner to outer left with small single window at upper floor.

N (SIDE) ELEVATION: 6-bay. Projecting 3-sided tower breaking eaves to outer right with small single window centred at ground; single windows in all bays above. Former nave to left with pointed-arched windows in all 4 bays; buttresses off-set to left and right. Gabled bay breaking eaves to outer left with large window at ground (blocked trefoil head); circular opening with blocked quatrefoil centred in gablehead.

E (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-bay. Large, pointed-arched windows in both bays. Single storey ancillary block to outer left.

S (SIDE) ELEVATION: 6-bay. Projecting 3-sided tower breaking eaves to outer left with small single window centred at ground; single windows in all bays above. Former nave to right with pointed-arched windows in all bays; buttress off-set to left of centre; single storey porch linking ancillary block off-set to right. Gabled bay breaking eaves to outer right with large trefoil-headed window at ground; circular opening centred in gablehead.

Predominantly opaque glazing; some stained and leaded windows. Steeply-pitched grey slate roof; red tile ridging. Stone-coped skews; double-bracketed skewputts. Corniced apex stack to rear.

INTERIOR: converted for use as community centre but keeping essential ecclesiastical character. Vestibule with Tudor-arched timber panelled doors; stair set in tower to N comprising timber treads, balustered uprights, timber handrail. Former nave with boarded timber floor; boarded timber dado panelling; painted walls. Galleried W end with bracketed columns beneath full-width timber panelled balcony (part infilled at ground; enclosed above); clock at centre. Open timber ceiling with scrolled sandstone corbels.

ANCILLARY BLOCK: single storey, 4-bay with porch recessed to outer left. Squared and snecked tooled cream sandstone; projecting cills. W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: regularly spaced single windows in all 4 bays. Timber door recessed to outer left; fanlight. 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slate piended roof. INTERIOR: timber dado; timber panelled doors.

BOUNDARY WALL: low coped rubble wall enclosing site to front; squat piers flanking entrance.

Statement of Interest

No longer in ecclesiastical use. Last used as a place of worship in 1973. Replaced an older Reformed Presbyterian Church which, with its thatched roof and low ceilings, was described as one of the ugliest churches in Scotland. In 1896, Robson noted that "...the present building is found to be inadequate, and a new church is in contemplation." The following year, the old building was demolished and in 1898, this new church, erected on the same site, was opened.

Despite the wider union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church in 1929, North Church kept its separate status until 1952. Now used as a community centre (1998).

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