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Hodge Street and Cockburn Street, Erskine Parish Church (Church of Scotland) Including Church Hall and Boundary Wall

A Category C Listed Building in Falkirk, Falkirk

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Latitude: 55.9978 / 55°59'52"N

Longitude: -3.7892 / 3°47'21"W

OS Eastings: 288504

OS Northings: 679766

OS Grid: NS885797

Mapcode National: GBR 1K.V0PJ

Mapcode Global: WH5QZ.RHST

Entry Name: Hodge Street and Cockburn Street, Erskine Parish Church (Church of Scotland) Including Church Hall and Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 16 June 2008

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399954

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51113

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Falkirk

County: Falkirk

Town: Falkirk

Electoral Ward: Falkirk South

Traditional County: Stirlingshire

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A&W Black, 1903-5. Roughly rectangular-plan, gabled, Perpendicular Gothic church with pinnacled 3-stage tower adjoining principal gable with twin-arched entrance at ground and large tracery window above; well-detailed interior; church halls and meeting rooms adjoining to rear. Snecked, bull-faced, Eastfield sandstone with polished ashlar dressings. Base course; discontinuous string course; eaves course and parapet to side elevations with moulded cope and slim pinnacles. Shouldered angle buttresses; pointed-arch windows with roll-moulded and chamfered margins; hoodmoulds; larger windows with stone mullions and tracery; stone-mullioned and transomed multi-light square-headed windows with chamfered margins to halls.

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: stone steps with coped side walls and decorative wrought-iron railings to double-arched entrance with wrought-iron gates, ornamental spandrels, frieze and flanking engaged octagonal pinnacles; large tracery window above; buttress with crocketed pinnacle to left; cross finial to gable apex. Tower advanced to right with louvered belfry openings, crenellated and pierced parapet and crocketed pinnacles. 2-stage stair tower slightly recessed to left of gable with buttressed, canted end and narrow pointed-arch windows following line of stair.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: side elevations with lean-to side aisles, bipartite clerestory windows and gabled transepts with large tracery windows. Church hall with timber panelled door in gabled porch to N side; timber panelled door with hoodmould to S side.

Fixed-pane leaded lights to church; plate glass in timber sash and case windows to hall. Ashlar-coped skews. Ashlar-coped stacks to hall. Octagonal ventilator fleche over transept. Grey slates with crested red terracotta ridge tiles.

INTERIOR: nave with shallow-arched, compartmental ceiling, canted chancel, transepts with galleries, arcaded side-aisles and gallery at W end. High quality carved woodwork including large organ case, chancel panelling, pulpit, communion table, lectern, choir stalls, panelled gallery fronts, and pew-ends. Marble font. Mosaic floor to chancel. Fine stained glass to many windows. A number of memorial panels to walls. Narthex with finely carved half-glazed timber doors and frame with drop-tracery fanlights. Curved cantilevered stone stair to W gallery with fleur-de-lys balusters and polished timber handrail. HALL: main hall with simple trussed ceiling and dado-height timber-boarded panelling; spine corridor with dado-height boarded panelling; several meeting rooms off with timber chimneypieces and plain moulded cornices. Smaller hall upstairs.

BOUNDARY WALL: ashlar-coped sandstone boundary wall with raised piers at regular intervals.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. A well-proportioned Perpendicular Gothic church, considered to be one of the best works of the leading local architect of the period. The church has good stonework detailing and a well-appointed interior including a generous amount of church hall and meeting room accommodation at rear. It occupies a very prominent position at the junction of Cockburn Street and Hodge Street, and makes a significant and positive contribution to the streetscape of the area. It was built for the United Free Church.

The church was designed by the practice of A&W Black. This practice had been founded by Alexander Black, burgh architect for Falkirk, who died in 1867. It was continued by his son, William Black, who took his son, Captain Alexander Black into partnership in 1904. A&W Black were the leading architectural practice in Falkirk and were responsible for many prominent buildings in Falkirk and the surrounding towns.

Erskine Free church was built following the union of the Free Church in 1900, to accommodate the merged congregations of the East and West United Presbyterian Churches. It was built at a cost of about £9000 and the mason work was undertaken by Messrs Ramsay. The stained glass in the chancel is contemporary and designed by Stephen Adam. The organ, by Norman & Beard, and pulpit also date from 1905. The organ case and communion table are by Whittock and Reid and date from 1937. The stained glass in the Nave is by Alexander Strachan (mostly 1937); the modernist stained glass window (St George) in the S transept is by James Stewart, 1975. Further information on the fixtures and fittings is to be found in Buildings of Scotland.

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