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Marjoribanks Street, Evangical Union Congregational / United Reformed Church Including Halls, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

A Category C Listed Building in Bathgate, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.903 / 55°54'10"N

Longitude: -3.637 / 3°38'13"W

OS Eastings: 297749

OS Northings: 668973

OS Grid: NS977689

Mapcode National: GBR 3015.DS

Mapcode Global: WH5RG.3WCL

Entry Name: Marjoribanks Street, Evangical Union Congregational / United Reformed Church Including Halls, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 4 October 2006

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398886

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50608

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Bathgate

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Bathgate

Traditional County: West Lothian

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Bathgate

Description

J G Fairley, dated 1894. Rectangular-plan gable-fronted early English Gothic church with twin spirelets and miniature flying buttresses. Squared stugged grey sandstone with ashlar dressings. Stepped string course above entrance level. Central pointed window with geometric tracery. 2-storey halls and offices to rear.

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central timber-panelled door in wide pointed arch within triangular pediment reached by four stone steps; flanked by small lancet windows. Octagonal buttresses rising to gabletted spirelets with octagonal blind arcades. Hood-mould to main window flanked by applied columns and spires. Round-headed vent to gable and banded cross to apex. Minature flying buttress rising to square pinnacles linked to square buttresses rising to square pinnacles and blind arcades to outer bays.

S ELEVATION: gabled left hand bay with lancet window. Flanking broach spirelets on square dies containing double blind lancets. 3 pairs of lancets and single lancet to nave; circular windows to clerestory. 2 off-set buttresses to right. Flat-roofed single-storey link to halls with 2 rectangular windows. Gabled hall with 5 rectangular windows to ground floor; diamond traceried oculus and arrow-loop vent to gable.

E ELEVATION: gabled chancel end of church with large flat diamond traceried circular window and flanking splayed chimney stacks, set behind blank wallhead of single-storey pitched roof to halls.

N ELEVATION: as S elevation but with concrete extension to hall annexe and entrance to underfcroft to E. Round-arched windows to hall.

Graded grey slates with pierced clay ridge tiles. Skew stacks with clay cans. Halls and offices have predominantly replacement glazing, with leaded windows to N. Cast iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers.

INTERIOR: timber U-plan gallery on cast iron columns with blind fretwork to parapet. Two stone stairs to galleries with wrought iron balusters. Body of church boarded to dado height. Boarded timber pews. King and queen-post false hammer-beam roof and boarded timber ceiling. Organ set in carved timber case with fretwork detailing. Trefoil and quatrefoil fretwork pulpit with diaper detail. Stained glass rose window with evangelists and central Lamb of God.

Timber-truss roof, boarded dado and timber-panelled doors to halls.

BOUNDARY WALLS: squared snecked rubble with chamfered copes and modern railings. Square-plan gatepiers with gabletted pyramidal copes and wrought-iron railings. Cast-iron lamp standards; octagonal lamps and iron fretwork.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such.

Small but well-detailed - in particular the spires and buttresses to the entrance elevation - this church makes a valuable contribution to the historic fabric of the burgh. The interior and stained glass are of good quality and well-preserved. The stained glass windows include the main window with Life of Christ scenes by the British and Foreign Glass Company (1901) and on the ground floor scenes of the life of Christ by Guthrie and

Wells (1920). The outdoor lamps were fitted in 1904 and the organ inserted in 1922.

The church is still in use by the same denomination who built it, therefore still serving its original purpose. The building is also evidence of the relatively few churches built for this minor denomination. Despite reunifying with the URC the church still calls itself by its old title of Evangelical Union. The history of the congregation and the church is also intertwined with the shifting religious settlements of the 19th century. The congregation of this church originated in an Antiburgher congregation which moved from Craigmailen in 1807 and built a church in Marjoribanks Street (then College Street), Bathgate. James Morison and his father Rev Robert Morison of Bathgate were expelled from the United Secession church in 1841-2. They founded the Evangelical Union in Scotland in 1843 and were joined by the congregation. In 1896 the EU joined with the Congregational church. In 2000 the Congregational Union joined the United Reformed Church. As a result of the historical connection the Bathgate congregation retained the EU title.

The Edinburgh architect James Graham Fairley (1846-1934) designed a number of churches both in Edinburgh and in West Lothian from the 1880s, including Uphall Free Church (1896) and St Nicholas Free Church, Broxburn (1890). Later, Fairley was responsible for both the Town Hall (1899 - now demolished) and St David's (1904), both in Bathgate.

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