Opened 1836 with significant alterations, 1903; further additions. Symmetrical single storey, 5- by 2-bay quadrangular, plain classical church with projecting 2-stage, square-plan bell tower centred at front; flat-roofed porch recessed to W; taller, flat-roofed chancel recessed to E; piended vestry and various single storey additions at rear. Whinstone and red sandstone rubble; red sandstone dressings. Base course; moulded eaves. Narrow quoin strips; tooled quoins and long and short surrounds to round-arched, keystoned openings; bracketed cills. Upper stage of bell tower with cream sandstone ashlar dressings; pilastered quoins; overhanging mutuled eaves.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: projecting bell tower at centre with large window centred at ground; squat, square-headed window aligned above; louvred belfry opening centred at upper stage with roundel below. Nave set behind with large single windows in 2 bays recessed to outer left and right respectively. Corniced, flat-roofed porch recessed to outer left with 2-leaf, timber panelled door at centre; round-arched timber panelled upper. Single window in corniced chancel recessed to outer right.
W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bay nave with single window in flat-roofed porch projecting at centre; large windows in bays recessed to left and right. Bell tower recessed to outer right with 2-leaf timber panelled door ground off-set to left of centre; round-arched, timber panelled upper; louvred belfry opening centred at upper stage with roundel below. Various single storey additions recessed to outer left.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: blind elevation to nave with projecting vestry off-set to left of centre; various single storey additions to right. Corniced chancel recessed to outer left with single storey addition in re-entrant angle to front. Blind elevation to flat-roofed porch recessed to outer right.
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: large tripartite window centred in corniced chancel projecting at centre; nave set behind with single storey addition in re-entrant angle to right; piended vestry recessed to outer right with lean-to addition to front. Bell tower recessed to outer left with louvred belfry opening centred at upper stage; roundel below.
Predominantly opaque-glazed, stained and leaded windows. Grey slate piended roofs. Tall, brick-built wallhead stack at rear; circular cans.
INTERIOR: classical decoration and furnishings. Rubble-walled vestibule with 2-leaf timber panelled door accessing nave. Simple interior comprising boarded timber floor; timber panelled dado; timber pews (family pews to W). Plain cornice; flat ceiling with decorative rose and plain circular panels; modern light fittings. Large, depressed-arched chancel arch centred in E wall with fluted Corinthian angle pilasters, central keystone. Raised chancel with pedimented, tripartite window centred in E wall (pilastered mullions); timber panelled communion table and chairs in place. Polygonal timber panelled pulpit with bracketed, decoratively capitalled, fluted columns and dentilled cornice. Sandstone font with columnar base and foliate frieze beneath circular bowl. Steel bell in place, inscribed 'Naylor Vickers & Co Sheffield 1862'.
GRAVEYARD: irregular-plan graveyard opened in 1901; various gravestones.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: rubble walls partially enclosing site; plain red sandstone gatepiers; 2-leaf timber gates.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Noted in the OS Name Book as "...a large square building of modern erection, having sittings for 500 persons." Opened in 1836 as a chapel of ease in Coldingham parish. Originally known as Renton Chapel, this simple classical preaching box succeeded an earlier Renton or Atton Chapel which was itself opened in 1794 (marked on the 1858 OS map and since demolished). This later structure came about as a result of the opening of what is now the A1 trunk road in 1816, which so improved communications between Grantshouse and Reston that the erection of a church midway between the two seemed the obvious solution to the problem for parishioners in Grantshouse of having to travel 11 kilometres to Coldingham. In 1851, Houndwood was erected into a quoad sacra parish for the W part of Coldingham parish. Works carried out on the church in 1903 included the erection of a porch at the W end (replacing the previous entrances either end of the S wall which were converted into windows), the opening of the E wall and creation of a chancel, the repositioning of the pulpit from the centre of the S wall to the NE corner of the church and the subsequent re-orientation of the pews to face E. The fact that the upper stage of the bell tower is dressed in cream and not red sandstone suggests that this too may have been a later addition. Though prominently sited and well-detailed, the preaching box formula was becoming outdated by the later 1830s, but Houndwood Church remains one of the most significant buildings in the parish.