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- Category: A
- Group Category Details: A
- see notes
- Date Added: 24/05/1966
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 25878 74380
- Coordinates: 325878, 674380
Archibald Elliott, 1816-18, enlarged by Peddie & Kinnear, 1891-2. Perpendicular gothic symmetrical church comprising original 3 x 7-bay nave-and-aisle church, with 23 aisleless bays added to E in matching style and containing new sanctuary. Polished sandstone ashlar walls. Base course, pointed-arched windows with hoodmoulds and sloping cills. Crocketted pinnacles and staged buttresses.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical; gable end of nave in centre bay; stone doorpiece slightly projecting at ground, containing 2-leaf gothic panelled timber door with splayed reveals containing engaged colonettes and quatrefoils flanking 4-centred arch-head, flanking niches with blind traceried panels above; full-height traceried window with hoodmould; mutuled cornice at gablehead with pendant gothic strapwork, delicate crenellated parapet above pierced by pointed-arched openings of alternating height; gablehead centred by panelled square shaft surmounted by crocket with carved cross at apex. Centre bay framed by tall 4-stage octagonal angle turrets breaking eaves, pendant gothic strapwork to lower stages with lancets to alternate faces, 2-tier lights with cusped arch-heads to each face of open-work upper stage surmounted by crenellated parapet with traceried panel to each face. Single bay gable ends of aisles flanking to left and right, traceried windows with crenellated parapet at eaves, 3-stage buttresses clasping corners to outer left and right.
S (YORK PLACE) ELEVATION: 9-bay elevation with symmetrical 7-bay earlier church to left, comprising projecting S aisle with traceried windows in bays divided by 3-tier buttresses with crocketted pinnacles; stone doorpieces (similar to W door) at ground in bay to outer left and right (latter stone-infilled); S wall of nave rising behind aisle with pointed-arched clearstorey windows in bays divided by buttresses with crocketted pinnacles; later 2 bays extending to outer right with pointed-arched traceried window above string course in each bay.
E ELEVATION: symmetrical single bay elevation, matching centre bay of W elevation except for plain wall below full height window, with different tracery pattern and more elaborate hoodmould to arch-head; elevation framed by octagonal angle turrets matching those to W.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: not seen, 1998; matching S elevation.
INTERIOR: 4-centred arches on clustered stone piers to nave walls; panelled canted timber ceilings with pierced timber arches springing from wall shafts; plain organ case at E end of aisle and floor tile probably by Peddie & Kinnear, 1891-2, other furnishings by J M Dick, Peddie & Forbes Smith. Marble monuments by John Steel and D W Stevenson, ogee Gothic tabernacle on N wall of chancel by David Bryce.
LAMP: gothic cast-iron lamp post by Laidlaw of Glasgow.
RAILINGS: sandstone ashlar dwarf walls surmounted by late 20th century railings, enclosing E and W ends of church; E wall and railing stepping downhill into Broughton Street.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Part of the Edinburgh New Town A Group. The congregation moved to this site from the Cowgate Chapel, subsequently uniting with St George. The contractor was the Leith architect and builder Thomas Beattie. Despite its early date, Elliott's original 7-bay church is remarkable in its delicacy and scholarship of detail both internally and externally. The regular bay design resembles that of a late medieval parish church in England. The octagonal angle turrets are derived from those at St Mary, Beverley, and were reproduced from the east extension, incorporating stonework from the originals, and Elliott's 5-light east window between. The tall crenellated aisles were designed to accommodate galleries, but these were removed by Peddie & Kinnear, who also changed the old chancel into the choir, opening up the plaster rib-vaulted south east porch.
Hay, THE ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST-REFORMATION CHURCHES (1957), pp116, 136, 149, 150; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, EDINBURGH (1984), p280; McKean, EDINBURGH (1992), p119.
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