Burnet Son and Campbell, (Sir John James Burnet and John Archibald Campbell), 1886-90; David Leslie of Walter Underwood and Partners followed by David Leslie Partnership restored with additions, 1986-95. T-plan Gothic church with former session house and hall adjoining. Red snecked sandstone with ashlar dressings; base course and cornice. Moulded pointed-arch archivolt to entrance doorways. Predominantly lancet windows with chamfered moulded openings and hoodmoulds. Lean-to side aisles with paired lancet windows. Angle buttresses surmounted by plain gablet. Decorative cross apex finials to gables.
S (ROTTEN ROW) ELEVATION: pointed arch doorway at centre with chamfered surround, boarded doors with decorative wrought-iron furniture, flanked by flying buttresses with trefoil headed niche and small lancet windows. Raked cill course above to 3 soaring lancets with stained glass; vesica to apex.
W ELEVATION: buttressed 6-bay nave; taller lean-to stairtower bay to right with 2-leaf door below row of lancets; 4-bay lower chapel to left end with lancet clerestorey windows to recessed choir.
N ELEVATION: 3 lancets to choir gable; stair in NW buttress, corbelled parapet wallhead with recessed gablehead behind.
E ELEVATION: buttressed 4-bay nave; taller lean-to stairtower bay to left with 2-leaf door below row of lancets. Gabled transept to right with lancets flanking central buttress and vesica in apex. Porch set in SE re-entrant angle; wide doorway to S with elaborate moulded archivolt; triple light gable (central lancet taller) over door set back from parapet wallhead; small stair turret to left; lights to right return with engaged columnetts to mullions. Session House projecting to right of transept in canted bay with angle buttresses, tripartite lancets windows (central lancet taller) with deep raked cills; corbelled parapet.
INTERIOR: outstanding early English detailed interior. Centre and side passage aisles; tripartite chancel; gallery over entrance vestibule flanked by staircases; organ loft in transept; chancel flanked by chapels. Pointed arch arcaded aisles, with shafts attached by ring brackets to each bay. Soaring chancel arch with keel-shaped cluster columns and foliate capitals, flanked by lower and narrower pointed arches to chapels. Tripartite ashlar reredos by J J Burnet, 1900, sculpted by William Vicars. Fine ashlar pulpit with balustrade and marble coping. Fine woodwork to choir stalls with angel finials Open timber roof to nave decorated with fleur de lys and coat of arms at base, barrel vault to choir. Parquet flooring, and decorative tiling at chancel. Tooled leather door coverings. Wall stalls to former Session House (now Sir Patrick Thomas Reading Room), divided from chapel by timber and glazed screen; shaped timber ceiling.
STAINED GLASS: chancel windows Herbert Hendrice, 1950; transept and gallery windows, Douglas Hamilton, 1953. Square-pane with leaded glazing bars, in looped pattern in lancet-heads, and with some frosted glass to remaining windows.
FORMER CHURCH HALL AND VESTRY: U-plan, adjoining the church at NE, and including committee rooms and caretaker's flat. N (Macleod Street) elevation: single storey, 8 bays with 2-storey and attic entrance bay to right; wide pointed arch entrance to recessed porch; 2-leaf entrance door to left and right in porch with window at centre; stone mullioned bipartite above entrance with relieving arch and gabled dormerhead to upper window. Caretaker's flat at right angles to S: 2-storey; openings set close to swept eaves at centre; crowstepped gables of unequal size to N and S. W (Castle Street) elevation: slightly advanced gable with 3 bays to left and entrance porch in shallow re-entrant angle; triple lancet lights to gable, central lancet taller and trefoil headed; rectangular tripartites windows to left section. Later octagonal plan infill between former church and hall with glazed roof..
INTERIOR: large Hall to NE, with lean-to aisle to S, on timber columns; open timber roof with 4 main arched trusses and perpendicular detail to timber piers flanking stage at W end. Small hall to E.
WAR MEMORIAL: Peter MacGregor Chalmers, 1921. Cream sandstone free standing cross of sacrifice, 18' high, with bronze sword attached to cross at top of slender shaft. Sited to SE of church, within railings.
RETAINING WALL, RAILINGS AND PIERS: to Rotten Row and Castle Street with simple wrought-iron railings. Gablet pier in red sandstone by Castle Street gateway; large drum pier to SE corner, of much-weathered red sandstone, with convex cone ashlar cap and carved dedication tablet, dated 1889.
Timber sash and case windows to care-taker's flat. Steeply pitched roofs, grey slates. Tall elaborately pinnacled French fleche over crossing.
Statement of Special Interest
Place of worship no longer in use as such.
Barony Hall is an important and substantial example of Scottish church architecture at the peak of church construction in the second half of the nineteenth century by a renowned Glasgow based architectural practice. The interior of the church which has been largely unaltered, is characterised by soaring arches and fine stonework detailing in the early English style. The detailing of the interior is an interesting contrast to the solid massing of the Gothic exterior. The plan form is unusual for a church of this date, with narrow side aisles and chapels accessed from the nave. The church is prominently sited on a corner and its substantial massing makes the building a significant landmark in the area.
The Barony Church was designed to replace a church built in 1793-1800 by John Robertson to designs by Robert and James Adam which had fallen into a state of disrepair. John James Burnet and John A Campbell won the competition for church judged by the church architect John Loughborough Pearson. Their entry was in the Gothic style, favoured by by Pearson. The south appears to have been modelled on Dunblane Cathedral with 3 lancets flanked by buttresses and the interior inspired by Girona Cathedral with nave wider than chancel. When their design was selected there was concern, particularly from the unsuccessful competitors that the final cost would exceed the budgeted £13,000. Their critics were proved correct and the minister Dr John Marshall, embarked on a fundraising campaign. The first sod was cut by Mr Crerar Gilbert of Yorkhill on 17 January 1887 and the memorial stone was laid on 15 June 1887. The completed church was dedicated on 27 April 1889. The elaborately detailed fleche was added during the construction as it is not shown in the original perspective drawings.
It seems probable that J A Campbell was responsible for the design, as his earlier Shawlands Old Church, 1885-8 (see separate listing), bears similar features, notably the reference to Dunblane Cathedral in the form of the W end. Between 1886-1897 John Archibald Campbell was a partner in John Burnet and John James Burnet's architectural practice John Burnet & Son. The practice were responsible for many renowned private and public commissions including the new Glasgow Athenaeum, Ewing Gilmour Institute, Alexandria and Baronald, Lanark (see separate listings). They also designed several churches including St Molio's Parish Church, Arran and Arbroath Parish Church (see separate listings).
The church was acquired by the University of Strathclyde in February 1986, for use as examination and graduation hall. The Principal of the University at this time, Sir Graham Hills, considered that it was the University's responsibility to patronise its surrounding by rescuing buildings of quality when the opportunity occurred. A £2.5 million extensive restoration project was undertaken informed by feasibility studies prepared by David Leslie of Walter Underwood and Partners and later David Leslie Partnership. Completed in 1995 this work included extensive fabric repairs, alterations and an extension to form winter garden and processional walkway. The former church session house is now a meeting and VIP robing room. The restoration won several awards including a Europa Nostra and the Glasgow Civic Trust award.
The origins of the university began in 1796 when Professor John Anderson left instructions in his will for the provision of an institution that was 'founded for the good of mankind and improvement in science'. By the 1890s this institution had developed rapidly and in 1903 built the Royal College building, George Street (see separate listing). The student population continued to grow, particularly following WWII and in the 1950s the area immediately to the N of the Royal College was developed to provide further facilities including a new engineering building, student union and chaplaincy centre. In 1964 the enlarged Royal College was granted the Royal Charter and became the University of Strathclyde. Keen to maintain a presence in city centre the renowned Modernist architect Robert Matthew drew up plans for the expansion of the campus to the E of the Royal College building, to provide additional buildings for science and technology disciplines as well as accommodation for the newly introduced arts and social sciences subjects. This original masterplan has been continually developed as land became available for the campus, following the demolition of tenements and other public and commercial buildings. The University has also acquired and adapted existing building adjacent to the campus for their use, such as the Barony Church and the Ramshorn Theatre (see separate listings).
Statutory Address changed from '6 Rottenrow East And 1 Macleod Street, Castle Street, and Cathedral Square, Barony Church and Church Hall with War Memorial, Retaining Wall, Railings and Gatepiers' and list description updated as part of University of Strathclyde Review 2010-12.