Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NS 29512 82486
229512, 682486


J W and J Hay, 1853; addition of vestry and session room, 1878; porch added by William Leiper, 1892; restored (following a fire) by Robert Wemyss, 1924. Squat cruciform-plan Gothic church with ornate crocketted porch to E elevation and 3-stage tower with broach stone spire in re-entrant angle of S transept. Stugged, snecked grey, creamn and red sandstone; cream stugged and snecked sandstone to porch; cream ashlar dressings. Base course; pointed-arch windows breaking eaves with gabled dormerheads, 2-light cusped bar tracery; saw-tooth coped off-set buttresses with cusped gablets; angle finialled and crocketted buttresses to porch; diagonal buttresses to tower.

E (COLQUHOUN STREET/ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: gabled with projecting porch to centre, see below; 5-light pointed-arch window above with curvilinear tracery; narrow windows with cusped tracery flanking porch.

PORCH: heavymoulded cornice (stepped on returns) with floreated eaves course; 2 windows to E face divided by buttress to centre, each with 2-light plate tracery with floreated hollow chamfered releals, hoodmoulds with carved head label-stops. Pointed-arch doorway on return to right and left, each with moulded chamfered reveals, 2-leaf boarded doors, decorative iron hinges, handle and keyholes.

S (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2 dormerheaded aisle windows to right. Gable transept advanced to left with tower in re-entrant angle, see below. 4-light window with curvilinear tracery to transept. Gabled bay recessed to left of transept with tripartite window at ground and 2 lancets with cusped tracery above.


E ELEVATION; pointed-arch doorway with flanking colonnettes, moulded reveals with floreate moulding, 2-leaf boarded doors, decorative iron hinges. 4-centred-arch window above with cusped 2-light bar tracery. S elevation; similar detailed 4-centred-arch window at ground;l arrowloop window with cusped tracery above; canted stair turret to left with stepped stair lights. Row 3 small windows with cusped tracery to each face at belfry stage. Short angle buttresses to upper stage with octagonal piers above with octagonal caps. Tall narrow louvred 2-light bar tracery gabled lucarnes with clock to each face below windows.

W ELEVATION: canted apse over basement to centre, doorway to far right, bipartite window to outer right with cusped tracery to each light, doorway to far left. Pointed-arch windows breaking eaves with gabled dormerheads to apse, 2-light bar tracery, basement doorway on return to left, bipartite window to basement on return to left. Session house to outer left in re-entrant angle of N transept, see below.


N elevation: 2 4-canted-arch windows with 2-light bar tracery; similarly detailed but taller window to gabled W return.

N ELEVATION: gabled transept to right detailed as S transept. 4-centred-arch doorway in re-entrant angle to left, trefoil window to right, taller gabled bay to outer right breaking eaves with small lancet window with cusped tracery. 3 aisle windows detailed as S elevation, divided by buttresses; coped stack with advanced chimney wall abutting side of window to outer left.

Lead-pane glazing, stained glass, see below. Grey/green slate roof, saw-tooth coped skews, finialled and cusped gablet skewputts. Original rainwater goods, dormers to transepts; fleche.

INTERIOR: rich interior panelled throughout; plaster and timber-beamed vaulted roof, beams supported on stone corbels; gallery supported on 2 cast-iron columns to each transept. Stencil and gold leaf decoration (1926) to chancel. Stained glass: apse, 3 windows (12 Apostles), circa 1926. N wall, (L to R), (Christian Act of Mercy) by Gordon MacWurter Webster, 1931; (figurative panel) possibly by Guthrie and Wells, circa 1890. W window, (Christ Blessing the Little Children) circa 1890. Dormer windows in transepts, to right, (Columba, Giles, Francis), to left (Crucifixion) by MacWurter Webster, circa 1954. S transept, commemorative windo w to John Logie Baird, by Arthur D Spiers, 1988. BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: stugged, snecked cream and grey sandstone wall, ashlar coped. Square piers with stop-chamfered angles, low pyramidal caps.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Built for the Free Church congregation at a cost of $45,000. Following amalgamation with the United Presbyterian Church in 1900, it become the West United Free Church. Rev Alexander Anderson presented the stained glass window in the west gable. Leiper's porch was erected as a memorial to Mr Anderson. Almost destroyed by fire in 1924, restored by Robert Wemyss. Many of the stained glass windows also restored show the reuse of earlier glass (when earlier glass has been noted above this date has been given rathen than the restored date). The stencil decoration in the chancel dates to the 1926 restoration and was revealed during the recent (1922) redecoration of the church.



THE CHURCH IN THE SQUARE - A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WEST UNITED FREE CHURCH HELENSBURGH by Robery Wemyss (1925). Prints of original drawings in the National Monuments Record of Scotland, courtesy of the present minister. Information on stained glass courtesy of Sally joyce Rush (1922)

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 03/06/2023 03:05