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- Category: A
- Date Added: 06/07/1966
- Local Authority: Glasgow
- Planning Authority: Glasgow
- Burgh: Glasgow
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 55349 65917
- Coordinates: 255349, 665917
Sir R Rowand Anderson, 1883-8, chancel lengthened 1906 and dedicated in 1908. Early pointed, cruciform plan. Foundations for projected steeple, still unbuilt, to W.
S elevation: 'west' door, 3 pointed arches, moulded archivolts on nook shafts with bell capitals. Central door with wrought-iron hinges; flanking arches each contain 2 arched windows, trumeau and vesica in tympanum. Broad ashlar band above, intended to hold bas-relief sculpture, never fitted. 3 tall lancets with continuous hoodmould and 2 blind trefoils. Small pointed window and 2 trefoils in apex of gable. Cross finial. Angle buttresses.
E elevation: 6 bay buttressed nave with lancets over blank projections for aisles with Norman doors at S. Twin gabled baptistery at N with 2 rose windows, pinnacled buttresses and 6 small blocked lancets. Chancel extended beyond baptistery 1906.
N elevation: large Rose window over 3 lancets flanked by 2 clasping pinnacled turret buttresses, fleur de lis finials. Basement windows light Church offices etc. W elevation similar to E but with small arched entrance in front of twin gabled transept.
Brick wall where porch was intended to link with unbuilt tower. Tall gabled plate traceried window lights stair to transept gallery. Lower Steven Chapel with 8 lancets and wallhead stack at W and 3-light trefoil window to N. Slate roofs.
Interior: very ecclesiological. Tall wide nave with wooden roof on engaged clustered columns with bell capitals. Clerestory lancets and blind tracery linked by continuous hood mould. Walls red brick with grey ashlar bands. Narrow aisles. Small galleries at rear and over transept. Significant collection of early Christian monuments.
Chancel: encaustic tiled floors and wrought-iron gates. 1906 blind arcade with stiff-leafed capitals, carved spandrels below band of foliated carving. 3 lancets in blind arcade and large rose window. Traceried altar frontal.
Small Steven Chapel: 3 cusped lancets by altar, and 6 windows at side. Wooden roof.
Excellent stained glass by C E Kempe (London) over altar, S and E walls transept and side gallery. Glass in Steven Chapel by Clayton and Bell and in Baptistery by Shrigley and Hunt.
A notable series of sepulchral monuments including hogbacked tombstones, cross-shafts, upright crosses, recumbent slabs and sarcophagus.
Statement of Special Interest
An outstanding Church by the celebrated architect Rowand Anderson and now with an exceptional collection of early Christian monuments, most of which were transferred from the surrounding graveyard (see separate listing) in 1926. See 'Buildings of Scotland ' Glasgow' for a fuller account of the monuments.
The 6th church on the site, whose parish covered what was to become half of Glasgow.
This church is unusually ecclesiological because Rev Dr John Macleod was a pioneer of Scots-Catholicism. The orientation is N-S because its foundations are on the 1826 church moved to Golspie Street, itself on the site of a Celtic church.
The design is inspired by Italian Fransiscan basilicas and the Pluscardine Priory, Elgin.
T B Stewart Thomson A Guide to Govan Old Parish Church (1963) S R Archives D of G H-Gov 37/206 (1883) H-Gov 37/856 (1906) P Macgregor Chalmers The Govan Sarcophagus (1902) Sculptured Stones in the Kirkyard of Govan (1899). Williamson et al The Buildings of Scotland - Glasgow (1990), pp586-88.
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