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- Category: A
- Date Added: 24/09/1991
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 27028 72107
- Coordinates: 327028, 672107
Sutherland and Walker, 1877-79 (dated 1879). Lombardic Romanesque; Latin cross-plan church with church hall and vestry to rear. Cream sandstone polished ashlar to principal (Dalkeith Road and Marchhall Place) elevations; stugged and snecked sandstone rubble to subsidiary elevations. Mixed late Romanesque detail; simple plate tracery to rose windows; finely carved shallow relief mouldings and waterleaf capitals; decorative cast-iron ventilator covers.
W (DALKEITH ROAD) ELEVATION: CENTRAL BLOCK: 3-bay, symmetrical, pedimented front in advance of towers (see below); 3 pairs of arched windows at gallery level; arcaded pilasters with stiff-leaf capitals; distinctive plate-traceried rose windows contained within each arch; moulded pediment above contains small, plate-traceried roundel insert between triangular panels; masonry Celtic cross finial at apex. TOWERS: pair of square-plan campanile towers; arcaded at all stages; 2-bay at 2nd tier, 3-bay above; glazed at 1st and 2nd, open above at 2 belfry stages. Shallow, pyramidal slate roofs; dentilled eaves; cast-iron cross finials. PORCHES: pair of deep-plan, gabled porches projecting to either side of main body of church. Intricate dogtooth and shallow relief foliate carving to portals; kufic-style star motifs contained within sculptured roundels in tympana; waterleaf capitals of differing designs.
N (MARCHHALL PLACE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; date stone set in aedicule on return bay of nave; Lombardic Romanesque corbel-course on return elevation of porch; masonry carried across ground floor bipartite window of tower expressing stair to upper gallery within. 3-bay, arcaded, pedimented, transept gable front to left at cross-arm of Latin cross; large, plate-traceried rose windows within round-arch heads; moulded apron panels and paired, arched windows beneath; further rose window on E return elevation of transept. Single storey, 2-bay link to 3-bay, gable front of rear hall; simpler arcaded treatment; entrance to right with distinctive diamond fishscale-effect tympanum.
GATEPIERS: pairs of square-plan, polished ashlar gatepiers; stop-chamfered at arrises; corniced with simple block caps to Marchhall Place and Marchhall Crescent; single pier to Dalkeith Road; simple cast-iron railings.
INTERIOR: galleried; blind, Lombardic arcading to front of timber galleries; clock at centre to rear (W). Radial seating; many of original and circa 1920 pitch pine and oak fittings survive. Walls divided into arcaded bays by pilasters with waterleaf caps painted gold. Shallow pointed, segmental timber roof. 1970?s screen addition to rear below W gallery out of sympathy with style of church. PULPIT: circa 1879; central position at E (as original arrangement); pitch pine with very fine Lombardic carving. LECTERN: eagle design; circa 1820. Organ GALLERY: circa 1900 by Binns of Sheffield. FONT: 1881; John Rhind. COMMUNION TABLE: circa 1920, central, oak table removed from Prestonfield Church.
STAINED GLASS: (see notes); all 1921, presented as WW1 memorial. TO W: Alexander Strachan; 3 double lights at gallery level representing the life and works of Christ; centre pair of double lights at ground (known as memorial windows). ROSE WINDOWS throughout also by Strachan. TO N AND S TRANSEPTS AND W ELEVATION: ground floor windows by Mr J (? or Douglas) Hamilton of Dundee (symbolic subjects; abundance of clear glass) and Miss Mary Wood (natural subjects).
STAIRS: stairs flanking at W to galleries; cream ashlar dressings; newel post with stiff-leaf capital and moulded arrises; oak balustrade.
Original doors to galleries; 3-panelled with openwork quatrefoil at centre panel.
HALL INTERIOR: open timbered ceiling and original heavy timber chimneypiece (also in vestry at ground floor).
Statement of Special Interest
Built as Rosehall United Presbyterian Church. James Sutherland and James Campbell Walker, having been successful in a 'limited competition', initially produced a design in a 13th century Gothic style; this had to be discarded in favour of the executed Lombardic design by Dec 1879. Stained glass presented by Sir John Cowan in 1921. Mary Wood lectured at the Edinburgh College of Art (information concerning stained glass from Mr Johnston, Minister of Priestfield, 1991).
BUILDER VOL 35 (1877),p1051; BUILDER VOL 37 (1879), p800; BUILDING NEWS VOL 37 (1879),p476; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1992), p635.
Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.
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