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United Reform Church, Leven Street

A Category C Listed Building in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire

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Latitude: 55.943 / 55°56'34"N

Longitude: -4.5604 / 4°33'37"W

OS Eastings: 240190

OS Northings: 675180

OS Grid: NS401751

Mapcode National: GBR 0M.YMG9

Mapcode Global: WH3NJ.XWKD

Plus Code: 9C7QWCVQ+6R

Entry Name: United Reform Church, Leven Street

Listing Name: Leven Street, United Reform Church Including Boundary Wall and Railings

Listing Date: 23 August 2006

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398830

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50543

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200398830

Location: Dumbarton

County: West Dunbartonshire

Town: Dumbarton

Electoral Ward: Dumbarton

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire

Tagged with: Church building Architectural structure

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Thomas Dykes and Robertson, Glasgow, 1882. Rectangular plan Greek Revival church with finely detailed pedimented entrance elevation to N. Coursed stone ashlar.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical with central single storey advanced pedimented porch with 2-leaf timber entrance door to left return. Central tripartite window above with broad Tuscan mullions and jambs. Flanking large windows to ground with diminishing pilasters. Dentil detailing to architraves. Giant clasping Tuscan pilasters to corners.

E and W elevations: 7-bay with windows to ground and clerestory level. Apron panels to windows.

To S: single storey 1898 hall and office addition.

Predominantly large 5 and 3-pane T-plan windows. Grey slate. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: largely unaltered interior with notable, well detailed etched glass with classical motifs in entrance screen, including key, festoon and geometric patterns. Oak timber pews with simple linear carving. Coffered and decorative plastered ceiling. Highly decorative geometric and foliate clerestory tripartite panel windows to N and S with painted glass in predominantly yellow and black. Later pulpit furniture (1963).

BOUNDARY WALL AND RAILINGS: low rubble wall to E and N. Highly decorative cast iron railings by Walter McFarlane and Co. with patera, scroll and feather patterns.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. This is a distinctive church, prominently positioned on principal road in Dumbarton and with a particularly distinguished entrance elevation. The Greek Revival Style was most famously explored by Alexander (Greek) Thomson (1817 - 1875) and it is likely that his work influenced this design. The restrained pedimented entrance is of some quality and contains much finely detailed and well balanced use of Greek ornament. The interior retains much of the original furniture and fine examples of etched and coloured glass, all of which have similar classical Greek detailing.

John K Clark (2005), suggests that two plans were initially drawn up by the architects for the church, one in a Gothic design and one in a Greek Revival style, where the latter has been chosen. The original design allowed for a gallery, but this was not built. Originally the Dumbarton Evangelical Union Congregational Church, it became the United Reform Church in 2000.

Thomas Dykes and Andrew Robertson were Glasgow based architects who had a short lived partnership from 1882-1888.

The railings around the church are a fine example from the ironfoundery of Walter McFarlane and Co, Glasgow.

Scotland had a thriving, productive ironfounding industry in the latter half of the 19th century and Walter McFarlane and Co, Glasgow was an architectural ironfoundery with an international reputation, whose designs found their way to countries across the globe. The pattern for the railings is number 295 in McFarlane's castings book of circa 1880.

External Links

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