Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

NETHERGATE, CITY CHURCHES, ST MARY'S TOWER, OR THE STEEPLELB25370

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
12/07/1963
Local Authority
Dundee
Planning Authority
Dundee
Burgh
Dundee
NGR
NO 40128 30121
Coordinates
340128, 730121

Description

Late 15th century, completed circa 1495. 5-stage, 156-foot ashlar tower, upper 2 stages set back to allow for a walkway at 4th. Caphouse probably 1570, turnpike stair heightened by 'two roundis' by John Mylne, 1643. Most of the detailing restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott 1872, and badly redressed by Dundee Corporation in early 1960s. Modern small-pane leaded glass W windows, 19th century cathedral-panes to 3rd stages. 4th and 5th stages louvred. Slate roof.

W ELEVATION: 1st stage round-arched, double doorway within single round-arched tympanum. Acorn leaf mouldings. Tympanum formerly housed Virgin and Child in relief. Trumeau and shafts badly worn. Large 6-light W window over, spiral mouchettes and Y-tracery. Hoodmould, mask label stops and continuous impost level band course. 2nd stage round-arched window with geometric quatrefoil wheel tracery. 3rd stage small 2-light window, 4th and 5th belfry stages recessed behind quatrefoil parapet with pinnacles, 1 housing a niche with statue.

Roll-moulded angles at 4th stage. Louvred single-light pointed-

arch openings with hoodmoulds and mask label stops, 3 at 4th stage,

2 at 5th stage. Iron clock face at 5th stage. Quatrefoil pierced parapet with the bases for a crown spire. Gabled caphouse.

S ELEVATION: blind at 1st and 2nd stages. Small mid-19th century porch to St Clement's with pointed-arch door and castellated parapet. 3rd stage 2-light pointed-arch window over small hoodmoulded niche with statue of the Virgin. 4th and 5th stages identical to W elevation.

N ELEVATION: blind through 3 stages. 4th and 5th stages similar to W elevation but altered to 1 light over 2 when stair was heightened in 1643. Turnpike stair at left with slit windows. Conical stone spirelet and weathervane.

INTERIOR: tall masonry rib-vaulted chamber. Circular hatch for transport of materials to the upper stages. Splayed arch opened to nave of church, now blocked with rubble. Small pointed-arch door beyond segmental relieving arch. Nook shafts with bell capitals and corbels at impost level formerly supported a timber gallery. Timber structure at upper stages; roof construction is late 17th or early 18th century.

Statement of Special Interest

Municipally owned and no longer in ecclesiastical use. The largest medieval tower in Scotland. The almost unique telescoping of the tower, the triple windows, the small pinnacles and the spiralling mouchettes in the tracery of the W window suggest an affinity with churches around Utrecht, an area with which Dundee had significant trading connections. The double door is also similar to some Low Countries churches, and St Mary's, Haddington.

The tower was separated from the parish church in 1547, when the English destroyed the nave, and re-united in 1787-8 when St Clement's was built on the site. Old St Paul's and St David's (Cross) and St Mary's churches were rebuilt after the great fire of 1841. They are also listed at category A for their grouping with the tower.

References

Bibliography

Richard Fawcett, 'Late Gothic Architecture in Scotland: Considerations on the Influence of the Low Countries', in PSAS 112 (1982), pp490-494; McKean and Walker (1993), pp59-61; Maxwell, HISTORY OF OLD DUNDEE, p290.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 01/11/2020 01:18