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Lych Gate, St Columba's Episcopal Church, Lonmay

A Category C Listed Building in Lonmay, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.6302 / 57°37'48"N

Longitude: -1.9398 / 1°56'23"W

OS Eastings: 403692

OS Northings: 860031

OS Grid: NK036600

Mapcode National: GBR P8KK.9ZJ

Mapcode Global: WH9NH.5GJY

Plus Code: 9C9WJ3J6+33

Entry Name: Lych Gate, St Columba's Episcopal Church, Lonmay

Listing Name: Lonmay, St Columba's Including Lychgate

Listing Date: 7 May 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397470

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49840

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Lonmay

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Peterhead North and Rattray

Parish: Lonmay

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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1797; substantially extended and reconstructed 1862 (see Notes); renovated and converted to dwelling late 20th century. Early English style, T-plan church with 4-bay nave, and gabled porch. Harled with ashlar dressings. Cusped heads to lancet windows; chamfered arrises and raked cills.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: gabled transept projecting to left of centre with 2 small windows to 1st stage and single window in gablehead surmounted by bellcote (bells missing), and further window (altered from door) in lean-to projection at right; 2 tall lancets in bays to right of centre and further lower set-back bay with 2 garage doors to outer right. Slightly lower bay to left with small projecting porch with single light and door on further-gabled left return.

E (CHANCEL) ELEVATION: broad gabled elevation with large raised centre tripartite window.

S ELEVATION: tall centre bay with 4 tall lancets and 2 later pitch-roofed dormer windows, low bay to outer right with single light and narrow door; lower set-back bay to outer left with almost full-width conservatory and stone-pedimented dormer window at right.

W ELEVATION: low projecting gable with taller gable behind with blocked circular window in gablehead surmounted by cast-iron cockerel weathervane finial.

Horizontal multi-pane glazing patterns and diamond-pattern leaded glazing to porch, all replacement. Graded grey slates. Coped harled stack with can; ashlar-coped skews with bracketted skewputts.

INTERIOR: sympathetically converted interior (see Notes) with some original detail restored including former nave with stencilled decoration to kingpost truss roof and walls. Former chancel with hammerbeam roof, chancel arch and stencilling signed by 'W Wilson Painter 1870'. Arcaded carved timber screen.

LYCHGATE: broad and deep gabled timber lychgate with 4 swept-braced posts and scissor-braced gableheads; plain bargeboards and overhanging eaves. Slated roof.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building no longer in use as such. The Church is listed for the success of its external massing, the interest of the interior (see below) its relationship to Cariness House and landscape, and for the quality and interest of the lychgate.

The congregation, from the parishes of Lonmay, Crimond and Rathen, moved to Lonmay from St Combs in 1607. The Episcopalians left the then Parish Church in 1709, but did not build the 'Meeting House', described in the Scottish Standard Bearer as "low in walls and thatched with heath", until 1727. This structure was burned down by Lord Ancrum's troops after the Battle of Culloden (1746). The Rev William Sangster opened the present building on 12th November, 1797. Funds were raised from "181 members ... heads of families, ... and the congregation numbered upwards of 800". The next incumbent, Rev George Hagar, built a house for himself costing £400. This house was later purchased by the congregation (for the sum of £270) and used as a rectory. The chapel was finally consecrated on 20th November, 1862 by the Bishop of the Diocese, Right Rev Dr Suthers. "The occasion of the consecration was the enlargement and improvement of the chapel; the gallery had been taken down, the present chancel, vestry and porch had been added, a stained-glass east window had been put in, the interior had been beautifully frescoed, and a fine 2-manual organ had been provided" (Scottish Standard Bearer). Contributions toward the improvements were received from the Right Hon William Ewart Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer; the Bishop of Chichester (Right Rev Dr Gilbert), and Sir Alexander Bannerman, Bart and Lady Arabella Bannerman. The Bannermans, of Crimongate, were the chief contributors, and were the only burials within the grounds. Their remains were removed to a private burial plot after decommissioning in 1957.

Subsequently the building was sold by the feudal lord (Carnegie) to the owners of nearby Cairness House, who sold it on for use by a local farmer as a grain dryer and store until the current (2003) owners took over the shell and renovated the building in the late 20th century. During extensive work, traces of stencilling and frescoes were found and restored as nearly as possible to the original. The church had two bells, one of which was passed to St Peter's Church in Fraserburgh. The organ was taken to St Mary's Episcopal Church, King Street, Aberdeen.

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