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Pirrie Hall at Old West Kirk, Campbell Street, Greenock

A Category C Listed Building in Greenock, Inverclyde

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9558 / 55°57'20"N

Longitude: -4.7677 / 4°46'3"W

OS Eastings: 227307

OS Northings: 677103

OS Grid: NS273771

Mapcode National: GBR 0C.XWCM

Mapcode Global: WH2M9.QKWK

Entry Name: Pirrie Hall at Old West Kirk, Campbell Street, Greenock

Listing Date: 29 March 2017

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 406627

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52424

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Greenock

County: Inverclyde

Town: Greenock

Unitary Authority Ward: Inverclyde North

Traditional County: Renfrewshire

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Description

The Pirrie Hall, completed in 1925, was built by the Harland and Wolff Shipping Company. It is a single storey, rectangular plan church hall with a gabled outshot and a steeply-pitched slated roof with overhanging eaves. It is constructed in squared and snecked cream sandstone rubble with ashlar margins and has a high base course and triangular skewputts. It is located to the southwest of Old West Kirk.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the extension to the west corner.

The 2-leaf timber entrance doors are set in a roll-moulded and four-centred arched architrave. The windows have ashlar mullions and the larger windows in the gables have ashlar transoms. They are multi-pane and leaded and some have top-opening panes. The rainwater goods are cast iron and the gutters are supported by decorative brackets. The interior of the hall was seen in 2016 and has an elaborate open kingpost timber ceiling with rafters springing from stone corbels.

Statement of Interest

The Pirrie Hall was built to provide the congregation of Old West Kirk a space to worship while their mid-19th century church was being relocated here and is an important part of this church's unusual and interesting history. The hall is well-designed and has an elaborate timber hammerbeam roof to its interior.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the extension to the west corner.

Age and Rarity

The church hall was built by the Harland and Wolff Shipping Company to provide the congregation with a space to worship, while waiting for their church to be moved to this site. It was named the Pirrie Hall, after the late Lord Pirrie who was Chairman of Harland and Wolff. The first service was held in the hall on 19 February 1925, four days after the last service was held in the Old West Kirk before it was moved.

Harland and Wolff was formed in 1861 in Belfast by Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff. William James Pirrie was chairman of the company after Harland died in 1895 and until his death in 1924. The company is famous for building ships for the White Star Line including RMS Titanic. In the early 20th century Harland and Wolff bought shipyards along the Clyde, including Caird and Co.'s shipyard in Greenock.

Churches are a prolific building type in Scotland and many of them have an associated church hall. Church halls are typically additions to existing churches or repurposed buildings, usually built to accommodate a Sunday school and community activities.

The history of the building of Old West Kirk and in particular its relocation stone by stone to its present site, is unusual. The Pirrie Hall is a key part of this history because its construction directly evidences the moving of the Old West Kirk to this location. Because it was designed to be the main place of worship while the kirk was being reconstructed, this church hall is well-detailed, and includes and impressive hammerbeam roof to its interior.

Architectural or Historic Interest

Interior

The main interior space is dominated by an elaborate and well-crafted hammerbeam roof and this is of interest in listing terms. The ancillary rooms at the rear of the building have been altered in the later 20th century.

Plan form

The building comprises a large rectangular space, with outshots for the ancillary rooms and an entrance. The plan of the building is not unusual for a church hall.

The outshot at the rear of the building (or west corner) has been extended from the footprint shown on the Ordnance Survey map (published 1940). This extension is not considered to be of special interest in listing terms and is proposed to be excluded from the listing.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

Church halls are typically additions to existing churches and may reference the style of the church. As the Pirrie Hall was built before the church (on this site) it is a freestanding building and slightly unusually its design does not reference the Gothic style of Old West Kirk. Nevertheless the Pirrie Hall is well-detailed with a steeply-pitched slated roof and good stonework, including roll moulded openings.

Setting

The Pirrie Hall forms part of the immediate setting of the Old West Kirk, and this setting is largely unchanged since the church was rebuilt in this location in the 1920s.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2017).

The building was built by Harland and Wolff and this connection significant to Greenock, an area where shipbuilding was the dominant industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Pirrie Hall was previously listed at category A with the Old West Kirk as 'Old West Kirk, Campbell Street, including Church Hall, Boundary Walls and Railings'.

Other nearby listed buildings

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