Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 34432 72069
334432, 672069


Robert Nisbet, 1803-1805, rectangular plan classical, Georgian 3-stage church; William Sibbald, steeple, 1805; J MacIntyre Henry, 1893, additions of projecting stair and organ bays, and interior reconstruction. Squared and coursed, droved grey stone and ashlar dressings; base and band courses and banded quoins, moulded cornice;

banded droving to steeple; yellow sandstone, coursed rubble and ashlar to 1893 additions. Segmentally arched windows to body of the church.

STEEPLE: William Sibbald; projecting at centre of S elevation; vestry and upper vestry in pilastered temple front at ground, with 4 set-off stages above, terminating in stone spire with 3-tiers of lucarnes.

Round arched doorway with decorative fanlight; round arched window on W return, flanked by classical wall monuments, in tripartite form; further round arched windows set in recessed panel above and on E and W return elevations; oval panel in tympanum, inscribed AD 1805. Dentil cornice above semi-circular windows at 2nd stage, each 3-light with outer lights blocked. Raised, pedimented panels at centre of 3rd stage, bearing octagonal 4th stage; keystoned blinded round- arched windows to 4 sides, pilaster flanked, triglyphed and metoped frieze and cornice above; octagonal 5th stage with detached Ionic columns bearing cornice, and blinded round-arched openings to each face. Cockerel weathervane crowning spire.

S ELEVATION: 5-bay, steeple at centre. Tall round-arched window rising to 2nd stage flanking steeple each side with loop tracery; window above and in each stage of outer bays, those at 3rd stage smaller, in clerestorey form.

N ELEVATION: (original entrance elevation); 3-bay; Tuscan-columned doorpiece at centre, doorway blocked as window (1893). Windows to each stage in each bay above and flanking.

W ELEVATION: 3-bay; corniced stairblock projecting at centre, full-height with blocking course, ashlar stage at ground, and rounded angles; Gibbsian doorways on N and S return elevations; paired round-arched windows with Gibbsian surrounds to 2nd stage to W, pilaster flanked. Window to each floor in flanking bays, set by re-entrant angle.

E ELEVATION: 3-bay; corniced rectangular projection at centre, with blocking course, housing organ; blinded window at ground stage. Simply corniced doorways flanking both sides by re-entrant angle, with tall

windows rising from 2nd to 3rd stage above.

Multi-pane sash and case windows with timber glazing bars, and leaded glazing pattern to each pane. Piend roof, grey slates, lead flashings.

BELL: Burgerhuys bell dated 1624.

SUNDIALS: flanking vestry entrance, 2 wall-mounted sundials, that to left by Archibald Handyside, 1785, brought from earlier church.

INTERIOR: reconstructed J MacIntyre Henry, 1892; restored 1988. Galleried, 3-aisled church. Panelled gallery on fluted Ionic cast-iron columns to N, S and W, with Fishermen's Loft above to W. Adamesque plaster ceiling. Communion Table, sited at E during 1893 reconstruction, comprised of early 18th century communion rail taken from church in Antwerp and adapted by William Adams, Edinburgh, ornately carved. Pulpit (replacing earlier pulpit sited at centre of S wall), Taylor and Son, Edinburgh, classical oak design with staircase. Organ case, Taylor and Son; organ by Lewis and Co, Brixton, 1897. Eagle Lectern, brass. Octagonal stone font. 2 classical oak,

secondary lecterns. Segmental pediments to bench ends. Double, interwoven stone, scale and splatt staircases with wrought-iron balustrades in W stairblock. Winding timber stair to steeple vestries. Gravestone embedded in wall of stairblock, probably 18th century.

Coloured glass to majority of windows. Stained glass windows: Douglas Strachan, window to right of Communion Table, to St Michael, 1923. 2 windows on S wall by Ballantine, Edinburgh; W window to David Macbeth Moir.

Small window in W vestibule by Margaret Chilton.

GRAVEYARD WALLS, RAILINGS AND PIERS: graveyard on site of Roman Fort; rubble graveyard walls with semi-circular and ashlar coping; later section of graveyard to W. Oliver's Mound denoting Cromwell's use of former church as cavalry station. Wrought- and cast-iron railings dividing paths from graveyard proper, set on ashlar coped rubble bases. Wrought-iron gates. Pair of square, ashlar gatepiers to S, by Inveresk Village Road, corniced and with caps.

MONUMENTS, MAUSOLEA AND GRAVESTONES: large number of fine wall monuments, largely 19th century. Several earlier gravestones with decorative classical form, memento mori and inscriptions. Table slab gravestones of 18th century. Rectangular plan burial enclosure in

ashlar, 19th century.

Statement of Special Interest

Buildings of Scotland refers to an early Christian date for a previous church on the same site. The steeple follows Sibbald's earlier design for that at St Andrew's, George Street, Edinburgh, 1894, and that classical "box-like" form recalls that of St Cuthbert's, 1789, by H Weir. St Michael's stands as a prominent landmark for many miles around.



Rev Sidney Adamson ST MICHAEL'S KIRK, INVERESK (1984).



NSA (1839) pp275-7, 295-7.

C McWillian LOTHIAN (1978) pp263-5.

SRO plans: RHP.7022 and 7023, galleries and organ recess.

TRANSACTIONS of Scottish Ecclesiological Society, vol V, James Wilkie 'The Ecclesiology and History of Inveresk'.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 23/01/2019 14:33