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Pulteneytown Parish Church, Argyle Square, Wick

A Category C Listed Building in Wick, Highland

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Latitude: 58.4376 / 58°26'15"N

Longitude: -3.0895 / 3°5'22"W

OS Eastings: 336485

OS Northings: 950440

OS Grid: ND364504

Mapcode National: GBR L6QF.CFZ

Mapcode Global: WH6DN.J50Z

Plus Code: 9CCRCWQ6+35

Entry Name: Pulteneytown Parish Church, Argyle Square, Wick

Listing Name: Argyle Square, Pulteneytown Parish Church

Listing Date: 2 April 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397288

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49693

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Wick

County: Highland

Town: Wick

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness

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William Davidson, 1842. 3-bay, rectangular-plan, symmetrical, gabled church with later additions including 2001 porch to principal (N) elevation. Bull-faced, Caithness stone in narrow courses with yellow sandstone ashlar margins. Base course, continuous hoodmould to entrance doors, ashlar eaves course and gabled bellcote. Tall, semicircular-arched windows, blocked architraves.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 3-bay. Slightly projecting narrow, sandstone central bay, battered towards apex of gable, terminating in bellcote; moulded semicircular arch supporting coped, shouldered gable. 3 former exterior entrance doors to ground set within modern enclosed porch to entire elevation, returned to W corner, 3 windows set above. Bull-faced sandstone pilaster buttresses to outer bays.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: 2 large bipartite, geometric tracery, windows. Single storey, 1974, church hall abutting.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: 5-bay, regular fenestration. Advanced gabled bay to outer right bay, coped shouldered gable.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: mirror of E, except single storey, 1958 church hall adjoined to return of porch.

Diamond-pane leaded windows, geometric patterned, painted glass to S elevation windows. Grey slates, lead flashing. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Predominantly steel and glass to porch with timber and stone detailing.

INTERIOR: timber panelled gallery to 3 sides, supported upon plain, slender cast-iron columns. Plain cornice to ceiling with moulded central ridge rib. Full-height timber classical painted timber back board to S wall. Tall fluted pilasters supporting a Corinthian entablature, finialed pediment with flanking urns, flanking paterae decorated semicircular arch supported by pilasters. Flanked by pedimented, panelled doors. Pulpit and pews date from later 19th century.

Statement of Interest

The A-Group for Upper Pulteneytown comprises: 1,2; 4,5,6; 11,12,13,14,15,17,18; 20,22; 30,31,33; 35-41,43,44,45,46,48,49; 51-55,57-59; 62,63 Argyle Square; 65 Argyle Square and 1 Grant Street; Pulteneytown Parish Church, Argyle Square; 1; 4,6; 8,9; 10,11,12,13; 14,15,16,17,18 Breadalbane Crescent; 1,2,3; 5,6; 12,13; 15; 17,18,19; 22,23,24,25; 26,27; 28,29; 31; 32; 37,38; 41; 42; 46; 47; 48,49 Breadalbane Terrace; 3,5; 8,10 Dempster Street; Wick Central Church of Scotland, Dempster Street; 7,9; 11 Malcolm Street; 1,2; 3,4,5,6; 7,8,9,10; 13; 15,16; 17; 18; 20 Sinclair Terrace.

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The church has had a number of modern additions made to it including the dominating porch built in 2001. Despite these alterations it is still felt to be worthy of being listed especially when considered in connection with the exceptional group value of Pulteneytown - Thomas Telford's designed scheme for the British Fisheries Society, for further information see separate listing for 1,2 Argyle Square.

Built as a chapel-of-ease satellite (from the then Wick Parish Church across the river Wick to the north) to serve the growing population of Pulteneytown. The church was jointly funded by the British Fisheries Society, the Pulteneytown feuars, the local landowner Sir Benjamin Dunbar of Hempriggs and the Corporation of the Burgh of Wick. The church was belatedly built as the axial centre piece to Telford's Argyle Square. The architect Davidson was local to the area being born in Thurso in 1789. He carried out a number of commissions in the earlier/mid 19th century in the Highlands. Of the number of churches he built - 'only in urban Pulteneytown, does Davidson attempt to break away from the vernacular rural kirk common in the Highland in the 1st half of the century' - E Beaton.

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