Statement of Special Interest
This former place of worship is an early surviving example of a Baptist chapel in Scotland with much of its 19th century fabric surviving to the exterior and some survival of its interior fabric including the baptismal pool. The Baptist chapel at Tullymet is among a relatively small number of surviving churches which were built specifically for the purpose of Baptist worship. It is also significant in its continuation of an early-established Baptist congregation (associated with the Haldane Movement), which predates the unification of Baptist worship in 1869, as many of the first Baptist churches were replaced or newly constructed after this date.
The present Tullymet Chapel is the second chapel constructed in the immediate vicinity for this Baptist congregation and was constructed at a low cost by its members who were followers of the Haldane Movement (see below). The ruinous remains of the previous chapel are evident at NN 99299 52802 near Tullymet House (see separate listing) dating to around 1808. In around the 1820s a local landowner provided the congregation with a new site. The new Baptist chapel was erected at its present site in 1847. The last service at Tullymet Baptist Chapel was held on 30th September 1973. The pews were removed in 1983 and the building has been used as a garage and store since this date. The pulpit was removed in 2007.
The Baptist movement rose from the Anabaptist movement of the Protestant Reformation period, establishing itself in England by the early 17th century. The Baptists appeared in Scotland in around 1650 following the arrival of Oliver Cromwell and his troops who established small, informal places of worship around the country, none of which are known to survive. The movement gained momentum in around 1750 with the formation of several small Baptist church groups (Scottish, English and Baptist Witnesses – each of whom generally adhered to different degrees of Calvinist attitudes). The Baptist churches governed their own affairs, with no control by a central body. The first purpose-built Baptist church building in Scotland was erected at Keiss in 1750 by Sir William Sinclair of Dunbeath and still survives (see LB14080). Soon after in 1765, the 'Scottish Baptist' movement was officially established in Edinburgh. By 1787, the Scottish Baptists built Richmond Court which would be the first building erected by this movement, however the building does not survive.
The early 19th century was also important period in the development of Baptist worship in Scotland. In 1808, brothers and landowners Robert and James Haldane became Baptists and sold their Stirlingshire estate to fund missions in remote areas of Scotland. They set up schools and missionary societies across the country, and financed the founding of churches in Grantown-on-Spey, Elgin, Arbroath, Wick, Edinburgh and at Tullymet. In 1827 the Baptist Home Mission for Scotland was set up which gave support to the small churches already scattered throughout the country.
In 1843, further efforts by Rev. Francis Johnstone of Cupar helped to form a loosely affiliated union of existing and new Baptist congregations by training ministers and distributing gospel literature. The formal organisation of the Baptist Union of Scotland was officially convened by Johnstone in 1869.
The interior of the former chapel has been altered, with no pews remaining and the timber pulpit and the suspended paraffin lamps having been removed. However the baptismal pool remains in situ and this survival is significant in listing terms as it is clearly related to the former function of the building.
The rectangular plan form of the chapel is typical for churches of this small scale and denomination, and it has been little altered since the mid-19th century.
The material and design quality is modest as is expected of the building type. The building retains some features which are related to its former use as a Baptist chapel, such as the baptismal pool and painted decoration (of a later date) near the pulpit. The horizontally proportioned lying-panes are typically found in early 19th century buildings.
The chapel is prominently situated in a rural setting, aligned northwest-southeast along a track road. The associated manse (not listed) is situated near to the chapel to the southeast. The setting has remained largely unchanged since the chapel was constructed.
The former Baptist chapel at Tullymet dates from 1847 and appears on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1863. It is located in a secluded and rural setting located next to the former manse (not listed) which is of a later date.
Category changed from B to C, statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as 'Baptist Chapel, Birchcraig by Ballinluig, Tullymet .