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- Date Added
- Supplementary Information Updated
- Local Authority
- South Lanarkshire
- Planning Authority
- South Lanarkshire
- NS 88875 43193
- 288875, 643193
William Cowie, 1912. 2-storey, square-plan, symmetrical, Art Nouveau chapel, plan changing to Greek cross in upper level with 3-bay open round-arched loggia extending to NE corner and single arch to small court SW punctuated by small paired rectangular windows. Diocletian windows over 3 single lights to projecting 1st floor bays, small domes in re-entrant angles with narrow round arched niches over; modillion cornice between raised angle piers. Central dome supporting a winged figure on circular pedestal flanked by 4 urns. Deep dentilled cornices. Inscription pedimented arched entrance doorpiece on cherub headed brackets reads 'though will not leave us in the dust, thou hast made us, thou art just'. Decorative stained glass panels to large round arched windows.
Small-pane windows to plain windows. Copper roofing to small domes, metal roofing to main dome. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: refined classical decorative scheme to interior with prominent stone altar/coffin table to S of plan on a raised Sienna marble plinth. Further stone features include advanced corniced, stone architrave to N. Black and white polished marble floor, ashlar walls, and plain circular dome with small oculus to apex. Lugged doorways with timber multi-panelled doors to smaller rooms.
Statement of Special Interest
The Chapel is an impressive design of the early 20th century presenting aspects of the Art Nouveau style, but particularly evoking the work of the Viennese Secessionists. A strong, symmetrical composition, with a good sense of proportion, incorporating fine stone detailing and architectural sculpture, including fine depiction of winged figure to building's apex. Fine use of sandstone ashlar to exterior with fine marble, stone and stained glass finishes to interior. The building has an interesting plan form, square at ground with small domes at each angle, rising to Greek cross at clerestory level with prominent Diocletian memorial stained glass windows further defining the space.
This is a very unusual building type in Scotland, only a few other cemetery chapels are known, the Vicarsford Chapel in Leuchars and the Mortuary Chapel in the Western Cemetery in Arbroath (both also category A-listed). Comparative building types are 18th and 19th century burial vaults and crematoria which become prevalent from the 1930s onwards.
The Chapel is located in a prominent elevated setting within an extensive multi-period graveyard and acts a defining landmark in Lanark Burgh from S. It lies close to the ruins of the St Kentigern's Church (see separate listing).
Known as Murray's Memorial Mortuary Chapel it was erected by philanthropist Helen Murray as a public and ecumenical mortuary chapel and bequeathed to the community in 1912.
The Architect William Cowie (1867-1949) served apprenticeships in the offices of Reid's of Elgin, Sydney Mitchell and for 12 years as the chief draughtsman for John and Henry Vincent in Eaglesham before eventually starting his own practice in Ayr in 1905. Most of his known works are in Ayr and the Ayrshires and were predominantly schools and domestic architecture.
Not in use since 2006.
Category changed from C(S) to A in 2010.
Dictionary of Scottish Architects (accessed 14 Jan 2010, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk.)
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Printed: 20/02/2019 13:15