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Kirk Memorial Evangelical Union Church, 121 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh

A Category C Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.959 / 55°57'32"N

Longitude: -3.1726 / 3°10'21"W

OS Eastings: 326885

OS Northings: 674615

OS Grid: NT268746

Mapcode National: GBR 8SC.VC

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.7HG4

Plus Code: 9C7RXR5G+HW

Entry Name: Kirk Memorial Evangelical Union Church, 121 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 121 Montgomery Street, Calton Centre, Formerly Kirk Memorial Evangelical Union Church Including Boundary Walls and Railings

Listing Date: 23 April 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397370

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49763

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Leith Walk

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Hippolyte J Blanc, 1895. Perpendicular Gothic, Latin cross plan with projecting canted apse to S end of W elevation; adjoins tenement to N. Principal storey and basement. Squared snecked bullfaced rubble to W elevation; stugged squared snecked rubble to S and E elevations; ashlar margins and dressings. Eaves cornice. Predominantly regular fenestration; splayed cills; predominantly bipartite shouldered windows to basement; predominantly hoodmoulded 2-light windows with flowing tracery to principal storey.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: single bay gabled elevation with side elevation of canted apse to left; lower level obscured by modern concrete access ramp and steps. To centre of gable, tripartite window with cusped arched heads to lights; above, 5-light pointed arched window with flowing tracery and blind panels beneath, cill course; buttresses flanking windows; to gable apex, small slit opening. To left of windows, advanced crenellated porch with 2-leaf timber-boarded doors recessed in 3-centred-arched and archivolted doorway. To left of porch, side elevation of apse; bipartite window with simple tracery. Crocketted pinnacles to skewputts of gable; cross finial to apex of gable.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 6-bay elevation; advanced gabled bay (transept) to 2nd bay from left; projecting canted apse to outer right bay. To outer left bay, steps overarching basement recess leading to porch with parapet, timber-boarded door in 3-centred-arched moulded doorway and small window to left; behind porch, recessed chancel with roundel with cusped tracery. To advanced transept gable (2nd bay from left), 2 windows to basement; 4-light Tudor-arched window with panel tracery to principal floor; stringcourse above; small slit window to gable apex. To outer right bay, piend roofed projecting apse; bipartite window with cusped heads to lights.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: 6-bay elevation; to basement, modern flat-roofed harled extension to 2nd, 3rd and 4th bays from left; outer right bay not seen. To advanced transept gable (2nd bay from right), plain 4-light and bipartite windows to basement; 4-light Tudor-arched window with panel tracery to principal floor; small slit window to gable apex. To outer left bay, bipartite window with cusped heads to lights.

GLAZING etc: predominantly plain glass, some modern; some coloured and leaded glass to tracery. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; stone skews and skewputts; red terracotta ridge tiles and apse finial; to centre of ridge, octagonal slate hung and timber ventilator with timber tracery and pinnacles. Some cast-iron rainwater goods.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND RAILINGS: to W and part of S and E boundaries, stugged dwarf wall with chamfered coping, surmounted by wrought and cast-iron railings.

INTERIOR: principal floor now partly subdivided; to N end, chancel with timber panelling to lower half; Tudor-arched openings formerly giving access to E and W transepts now blocked in to form separate rooms; to side walls, stone corbels supporting timber beams of simple hammerbeam roof, now concealed above modern suspended ceiling. To basement, central hall with cast-iron columns.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building, no longer in use as such.Currently used as a community centre.

121 Montgomery Street is a well-detailed small Gothic church, designed by one of Edinburgh's most well known late 19th century architects. It also makes a valuable contribution to the surrounding streetscape. The projecting apse was originally intended to function as a cloakroom, with a retiring room below.

The construction of this church coincided with a trend of prolific tenement building in the area between Leith Walk and Easter Road during the last 3 decades of the 19th century. This area had originally been earmarked for one vast single development, a scheme known as the Eastern New Town or Calton Scheme, laid out and designed by W. H Playfair in the 1810s and 20s. The scheme would have been the largest and most ambitious New Town in Edinburgh, but despite an encouraging beginning the area quickly waned in popularity, mainly due to competition from new schemes in the increasingly fashionable West End. Large scale construction, mainly of tenements and shops, began again in this area in the 1880s. The tenement block, of which this former church occupies the SW corner, was constructed soon after the church itself.

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