Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.

ST MICHAEL'S PARISH CHURCH (CHURCH OF SCOTLAND) WITH GATEWAY AND LIVINGSTON BURIAL VAULTLB37499

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
22/02/1971
Local Authority
West Lothian
Planning Authority
West Lothian
Burgh
Linlithgow
NGR
NT 235 77284
Coordinates
300235, 677284

Description

Circa 1425-1532, probably John Frenssh, builder or architect; restored 1812 and 1894-1896, Honeyman and Keppie (with possible asisstance by C R MacKintosh); 1964 spire added to tower, Geoffrey Clarke. Spectacularly sited beside Linlithgow Palace on promontory between loch and town. Gothic, cruciform church with tower to E end, canted chancel apse, 8-bay side elevations including transept and porch to S elevation and transpet and vestry to N elevation. Squared and coursed cream sandstone rubble. Base and string courses, buttresses to N, S and E elevations, corner diagonal buttresses with canopied image niches (figure of St Michael at SW buttress), pointed doorcases and windows with 4-light flowing cusped tracery to nave and chancel aisles, flamboyant to S aisle, panel to apse, round-headed clearstorey windows with cusped Y-tracery, hoodmoulds with carved label stops, wide crenellated parapets, gargoyles.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3 bays; advanced central tower flanked by aisle windows.

TOWER: 5-stage with polygonal stair-turret at NW angle. W elevation; door with trumeau flanked by doors with gothic panel tracery; tympanum with niche flanked by panel tracery. 3-light panel tracery window above; small lancet to 3rd stage; larger lancet to bell stage above, to@ stage with round window with mouchette tracery. Return to right with top 3 stages detailed as W elevation. E elevation with 1 window crenellaed parapet with corner pinnacles, modern aluminium crown 'spire'.

N (SIDE) ELEVATION: gabled bay to N transept off-centre left with window on right return and round stair-turret with conical roof set in re-entrant angle on left return, 4-bay nave aisle to right, each bay divided by buttresses, blind door to penultimate bay with window set high above; advanced vestry bay with door on left return flanked by windows to chancel aisle to left. Regular fenestration to clearstorey.

E ELEVATION: canted apse, pointed windows to each side with panel tracery, canopied niches to buttresses. Piended roof.

S (SIDE) ELEVATION: mirror image of N elevation without vestry but with 2-storey porch 2nd bay fromleft, with clustered colonnette and foliate surround to pointed arch doorway, canted oriel with cusped round-headed windows and pointed ashlar roof above, flanked by narrow canopied niches between storeys. Inside, rib-vault, niche on E wall, stone benches to sides, S door with deep pointed arch surround composed of clustered colonette and moulding, gothic decoration to panelled 2-leaf door and tympanum. Round stair-turret with a polygonal cap set in re-entrant angle to left. Transept with large low hoodmoulded pointed arch window with fine cusped, mouchetted trefaoil tracery. Regular fenestation to clerestorey.

Grey slate roof.

INTERIOR: 3-storey, 8-bay arcade, to nave and chancel, pointed arches on clustered columns, side aisles, triforium (to nave) and clearstorey. Stone rib-vaulted roof to porch, aisles and transepts, plaster vaulted roof to nave. Pulpit and font by Honeyman, timber pulpit with angle niches with statues, octasgonal stone font with crocketted pinacles to angles at base, trefoil panels above.

Stained glass: to apse, 4 lights (the Creation) by Clayton and Bell 1885; S Chancel aisle, 4 lights (St Ninian and 3 others, with 4 monarchs) by alfred Webster of adams, Glasgow, 1914, and 3 lights (the Women at the Sepulchre), by Cottier of London, 1885, S transept 6 lights (Christ and the little children) by Clayton and Bell, after 1892; S nave aisle 4 lights (the Evangelists) by Morris and Co from Burne Jones's design, 1899; W end 4 lights (Adoration of the Magi and scens of Christ with children) by Herbett Hendrie, 1936; W window 3 lights (the Transfiguration) by Ballantine of Edinburgh, 1898; N nave aisle 4 lights (Christ and the little children) by Maryer of Munich, after 1909; N transept 1 light (the infant Samuel) by Meikle of Glasgow.

GATEWAY: stugged squared cream sandstone rubble. Piers with pyramidal caps, 2-leaf lcast-iron gates with low wall to left surmounted by cast-iron railings.

LIVINGSTON BURIAL VAULT: outside to Se, built 1668 for George Livingston, 3rd Earl of Linlithgow. Stone flagged at ground level, mort-safe (brought from Kirkyard), die wall.

References

Bibliography

Sleazer THEATRUM SCOTTIAE. NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND Vol 111 (1845) p183-184. Francis A Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND (1884) p519. C McWilliam LOTHIAN (1987) p284-290.

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. 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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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