David Robertson, 1879 ; Groves Raines Architects, internal alterations 1994 and 2000. Large Romanesque aisled church with church hall and vestry, orientated to S with NW tower. Grey sandstone, squared and snecked rubble with ashlar dressings. Base course; pendant corbel table at eaves; round-arched moulded openings on block imposts; pinnacles and buttresses with sawtooth ashlar pyramidal coping.
N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION; (liturgical W); finialled gable; tower to right; central cross finialled gabled entrance with deeply chamfered doorway with chevron carving and colonnettes with scalloped capitals, small blind opening in gablehead, timber door with decorative cast-iron hinges, small tripartite window in semi-circular timber fanlight, cast-iron lam standards and railings flanking steps. Doorway flanked by bipartite window to right, tripartite to left, under row of blind intersecting arcading. Tall stepped and hoodmoulded tripartite window with nook-shafts and chevron carving to arches above; blind oculus with decorative carved moulding and hoodmould in gablehead. Small gabled stair hall on return to left with bipartite windows at ground and 1st floor; stepped string course above ground floor and oculus in gablehead on return. TOWER: 4 stages; off-set angle buttresses; battered base; 1st stage with further cross finialled gabled entrance to W face detailed as above, 2 windows under row of blind arcading to N face. 2nd stage with 2 windows with nook-shafts to N and W face, single window to S, pendant corbel table above. 3rd stage with tall transomed narrow stair window to S, N and W face. Top stage with louvred tripartite windows to each face; saw-tooth pyramidal ashlar roof with cross finial. NAVE AND CHANCEL: 5-bay nave with lower single bay chancel; low side aisles with lean-to roof; single window per bay divided by buttresses. Tall stepped tripartite windows with corbel course above. Oculus with carved moulding and hoodmould in finialled S gablehead of nave; lower chancel with angle buttresses and stepped tripartite window in S gable; oculus in finialled gablehead. VESTRY AND CHURCH HALL: small single bay vestry with corner buttresses abutting chancel to W, gabled entrance porch with single window on return, single window to S. Church hall transversely aligned to E of chancel with organ chamber extending over, gable with apex stack to S, alternating single and bipartite window to E with oculus in gable to right. Small lead-pane glazing to windows. Slate roof with small triangular ventilatros to nave and vestry. Moulded eaves gutters.
INTERIOR: Internal alterations in 1994 to form offices and community spaces in modern industrial style for the Eric Liddell Centre. The design created a four storey office block accommodation independently sited within the central nave space. The new, largely glazed, structure sits independent from the historic walls with cantilevered external walkways allowing high level close up views of the extensive collection of stained glass windows throughout the church. As part of the scheme of works the north gallery and pulpit were removed and the chancel arch blocked up. The side arcades remain open to one side and timber partitions between columns to the other. The original smooth ashlar vaulted entrance and turned stair to former gallery level are in original form and lead to an open viewing gallery for the north gable windows. Separate small hall to S end with separate entrance flatted accommodation over. Memorial Hall to second floor and larger hall have the timber barrelled ceilings of the former church.
There are fine 20th century stained glass windows throughout the church which demonstrate the significant development of Scottish stained glass industry in the 20th century including the tripartite north window by William Wilson RSA (1905-1972) (1957). The Great Memorial Window triptych of 1920 by London firm Clayton and Bell to commemorate WW1. Clerestorey windows by Marjorie Kemp (1886-1975) and Margaret Chiltern (1875-1962) (circa 1925 and 1930) and John Duncan (1866-1945) (1935) and some unattributed but probably by Herbert Hendrie. All these windows replaced the original squared and coloured leaded glass windows of 1879 by Dickson and Walker a few of which survive unaltered. Renovation of stained glass in circa 2006.
Statement of Special Interest
Place of worship no longer in use as such. Established originally for the United Presbyterian Church. The former North Morningside Church makes a strong contribution to the streetscape of the area being one of a group of four churches at the junction of Morningside Road and Colinton Road known locally as 'Holy Corner'. The building is an important and rare example of 19th century neo-Romanesque church architecture.. The interior of the church before alteration had a deep north gallery, heavy arcade of cushion capitals and chevron mouldings and a timber lined tunnel roof. The large organ by Bryceson Brothers and Ellis, 1881 was removed in 1986. The building was converted to the Eric Liddell centre in 1994 creating an internal office building structure within the main nave space and carefully separated from the original in such a way that the original structure is still clearly readable post alterations. The alterations have created external walkways providing close up views to a very fine collection of 20th century Stained glass windows by Scottish artists at the higher levels.
The building now operates (2013) as The Eric Liddell Centre a Scottish Charity founded in memory of the Olympic gold medallist providing office and meeting spaces to the local community.
List description updated 2013.