George Fortune, 1899; on site of earlier church erected 1739. Rectangular-plan, Romanesque church with gabled porch to S, vestry adjoining gabled N aisle, finialed birdcage bellcote to W, bowed apse to E. Pointed whinstone rubble; red sandstone dressings (lightly droved in part); coloured, cement-faced cast aggregate to corbels. Raised cill course to S wall; chamfered cill course to apse; raised red sandstone eaves course; figurative corbels beneath eaves to apse; plain corbels beneath eaves to vestry; crowstepped gables throughout. Rubble quoins; long and short sandstone surrounds to round-arched openings. Windows comprising flanking columnar nook-shafts with scalloped capitals, architraved, round-arched voussoir arches with dogtooth carving to inner reveals, chamfered cills.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: gabled porch advanced to outer left with deep set 2-leaf, round-arched boarded timber doors (decorative wrought-iron hinges); carved round-arched surround with paired nook-shafts engaged to left and right (scalloped capitals), rope-moulding, zig-zag, foliate and billet frieze banding; nook-shafted, round-arched plaque centred beneath apex embossed "Built 1739 Rebuilt 1899"; crowstepped gable surmounted by decorative finial. Single windows in remaining 4 bays recessed to right.
W (SIDE) ELEVATION: bipartite, round-arched window centred at ground; deep-set rose window aligned above; crowstepped gable surmounted by corbelled, 2-stage bellcote; bell in place (circa 1899, inscribed with trade shield of James Barwell of Birmingham); tiered pyramidal ashlar spire surmounted by finial. Carved figure representing ?Time? supporting square sundial on corner with S wall; tablet inscribed "Mr J C 1731"; metal gnomon in place (1962 replacement).
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: regularly spaced single windows in bowed apse centred against finialed gable, beak-head corbels of infinite variety to apse. Single storey vestry recessed to outer right with round-arched, roll-moulded surround to boarded timber door off-set to left of centre (decorative wrought-iron hinges). Gabled porch recessed to outer left.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: rose window centred in projecting N aisle in penultimate bay to outer left; single window centred in single storey vestry advanced to outer left; bowed entrance to N aisle in re-entrant angle with decorative wrought-iron hinges to round-arched boarded timber door. Blind in remaining bays recessed to right.
Predominantly plain, part-stained border glazed leaded windows; some decorative stained glass to apse, W end (in memory of Andrew Smith?s parents) and porch (gift of George Fortune). Graded grey slate roofs; terracotta ridge tiling; original cast-iron rainwater goods. Coped stack to vestry; circular cans.
INTERIOR: painted polished sandstone and dark stained Siberian deal throughout (some dark stained oak). Boarded and panelled vestibule; tiled floor; low timber benches; 2-leaf, round-arched boarded timber doors in roll-moulded surround accessing church (decorative wrought-iron hinges). Nave comprising timber pews; part-tiled floor; whitewashed walls above boarded timber dado panelling; barrel-vaulted, boarded timber ceiling with figurative corbels forming springers, gilt bosses lining trusses, 3 ridge medallions depicting the dove, St Andrew and the Paschal Lamb, dogtooth carving to outer trusses. Round-arched windows deep-set into S wall; painted margins; timber boxes set on cills. N aisle set behind round-arched columnar frame with scalloped capitals (waterleaf base detailing), blind arcaded balcony to front; timber panelled walls within; rose window centred in N wall; timber surround to door off-set to right; panelled and boarded ceiling. Round-arched, columnar chancel arch with scalloped capitals (waterleaf base detailing), regularly spaced carved motifs set between zig-zag moulding lining arch. Bowed apse with boarded timber dado panelling; whitewashed walls; painted zig-zag band at wallhead; boarded timber conical ceiling with painted groins; tiled floor; carved, stained oak communion table with columnar shafts, stylised motifs and dogtooth mouldings; hand bell to front (circa 1800); timber chairs in place. Columnar balustraded stair accessing polygonal pulpit; intricate dogtooth and arcaded carving; round-arched, blind arcading with columnar shafts to main section. Round-arched boarded timber door with decorative wrought-iron hinges accessing vestry to N; Royal Arms of Scotland set in tablet above. Decorative light fittings. Sandstone plaque above door inscribed "To the Glory of God and to commemorate the rebuilding of this church by Andrew Smith, Esquire of Cranshaws ... AD 1899". Engraved metal plaque in N wall embossed "In loving memory of Andrew Smith of Whitchester and Cranshaws who entered into rest on 10th June 1914..."
GRAVEYARD: rubble-coped rubble walls enclosing near rectangular-plan graveyard surrounding church; wrought-iron pedestrian gate inscribed "1948-1982 C E Eddy" accessing path to nearby manse. Various gravestones.
GATEPIERS AND GATES: circular-plan, harled piers flanking main entrance; hemispherical caps; wrought-iron vehicular access gate.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. One of very few Romanesque revival churches and a very complete and successful example. Excellence of design, craftsmanship and materials both inside and out. Built on the foundations of a previous church, itself built in 1739. In 1898, Andrew Smith of Whitchester and Cranshaws (see separate list entries for Cranshaws Castle and the Gateway, Cranshaws Farm), employed George Fortune, a Duns architect, to prepare plans to rebuild the structure. According to C E Eddy, Minister of the parish until 1982, "Mr Fortune was a man of advanced ideas and employed materials and designs that were ahead of his time." Thus, the combination of whinstone, sandstone and cement-faced aggregate and the intricate detailing of an essentially simple design. Inside, the tablet above the N door containing the Royal coat of arms is reputed to date from before 1473. Some say that in 1595, James VI rode from Yester to worship unannounced at the old church in Cranshaws (now ruinous). During the service, the flustered minister forgot to offer the customary prayer for the King. Appalled by such forgetfulness, James instructed that the Royal Arms be erected within the church as a constant reminder to the minister to offer prayers to the Sovereign. Another, less romantic explanation for the tablet is that it displays the fact that the Crown had certain patrimonial rights within the parish (see J Ferguson's article). Close examination shows that the figurative springers are arranged in pairs, the faces supposedly representing different classes of people - a lord and his lady, the minister and his wife, and so on. With direct access to the nearby manse (see separate list entry), the surrounding graveyard only furthers the significance of the whole.