History in Structure

DR Black's Memorial Hall, 22 Bank Street

A Category C Listed Building in Inverness Central, Highland

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Latitude: 57.4784 / 57°28'42"N

Longitude: -4.2276 / 4°13'39"W

OS Eastings: 266527

OS Northings: 845319

OS Grid: NH665453

Mapcode National: GBR H8YY.L7M

Mapcode Global: WH4GH.1949

Plus Code: 9C9QFQHC+9X

Entry Name: DR Black's Memorial Hall, 22 Bank Street

Listing Name: 22 Bank Street, DR Black's Memorial Hall

Listing Date: 21 December 2011

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400796

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51857

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200400796

Location: Inverness

County: Highland

Town: Inverness

Electoral Ward: Inverness Central

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Robert John Macbeth, 1907-8. 2-storey, 5-bay, symmetrical church meeting hall in domestic Queen Anne style. Built for St Columba High Church (see separate listing) also on Bank Street. Squared and snecked pink sandstone with pale sandstone dressings. Base course; string course; bracketed eaves. Chamfered margins and mullions to large bipartite windows. Long and short quoins.

Substantial, 2-leaf timber entrance door to centre; carved name stone above with heavy stone canopy and carved stone brackets. Four carved stone plaques at first floor, set between windows. Regular fenestration pattern with moulded surrounds to large bipartite windows.

2 piend-roofed stair outshots to rear (NW) elevation with the larger outshot to centre. Some later infill and emergency stair addition with lean-to roof.

Large, multi-pane glazing pattern to timber sash and case windows to principal elevation; 9 panes to top sash and 12 pane to bottom sash; single glazed timber sash and case windows to rear. Traditional slate roof laid in diminishing courses; pair of ventilators to ridge with swept pyramidal caps; one with decorative cross finial. Cast iron rainwater goods with decorative ties.

INTERIOR: central hallway with 2-leaf glazed vestibule doors leading through to broad public stair and upper landing; ornamental cast-iron balustrades; timber handrail with scrolled newels. Further Simple plaster cornicing to principal rooms; half timber panelled walls. Two doors to ground floor hall to left ; two ground floor reception rooms to right. Moulded timber fireplaces. Large hall (50ft by 35 ft) to front of first floor with exposed timber roof structure; timber floor.

Statement of Interest

The former Dr Blacks Memorial Hall is a finely proportioned and well-detailed example of a Queen Anne style church meeting hall in Inverness. The principal elevation is notable for its fenestration arrangement with large multiple-pane windows and substantial double-leaf, panelled timber entrance door with carved canopy. The simple interior is largely intact with some good decorative detail and principal hall at first floor. The hall also features a good quality exposed timber roof structure. Prominently sited on Bank Street facing the broad expanse of the River Ness, the building adds to the historic and architectural interest of the streetscape which is characterised by the large number of intervisible churches to both banks of the river.

Macbeth and Ross were among the most respected Highland architectural practices of the late 19th and early 20th century. Robert Macbeth (1857-1912) was partner to Alexander Ross from 1887 to late 1907. Dr Black's Memorial Hall was one of the last buildings carried out by the practice although the Meeting hall inauguration papers note that Macbeth worked alone on the building. Other buildings in Inverness by the partnership include the Royal Inverness Academy (1893) and the Free North Church, also on Bank Street (see separate listings).

The Chair of the St Columba's Meeting Hall Committee was Reverend Dr JJ Black, a strong supporter of the scheme and responsible for securing much of the initial funds for the building. He passed away in February 1907 before the foundation stone was laid. A casket was placed in the foundation stone in August 1907 containing papers relating to Dr Black and other artifacts including a set of King Edward VII coins and a guidebook to Inverness. The account of the inauguration, which took place on 8th April 1908, states that architect Robert John Macbeth made 'admirable use of the site' with the work carried out to the entire satisfaction of the Hall Committee. It notes the site has 'the advantage of being near the church and having a fine open frontage'. Total cost for the building and furnishing was 2200 pounds.

External Links

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