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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 87332 85710
387332, 785710


Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, nave 1875-7; Anderson with Arthur Clyne, chancel, organ chamber and vestry 1883-5, builder John Morgan; Arthur Clyne, narthex and baptistery 1906, latter with Sir Ninian Comper glass of 1929. Transitional church with 5-bay nave, low buttressed side aisles and clerestorey, crowstepped lean-to narthex and semi-octagonal baptistery with prismatic roof. NE organ chamber, SE sacristy and choir vestry of semi-octagonal plan, adjoining slim tower with circular belfry stage; apsidal choir. Squared and snecked rubble with some Aberdeen bond, and ashlar dressings. Deep base course, continuous hoodmoulds forming string courses, eaves course and blocking courses to baptistery and vestry. Principally round-arched openings, quatrefoil and trefoil-headed to vestry, pointed-arch to NW aisle openings, and vessica to NW gablehead of nave. Squat, 2-stage coped buttresses; voussoirs; hoodmoulds with label stops; raked cills; chamfered reveals. 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber doors with decorative ironwork hinges.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: tall gabled elevation with projecting full-width narthex incorporating moulded doorpiece under crowstepped half-gable to each return and finialled polygonal-roofed baptistery projecting from centre. 2nd stage with raised centre, 5-part, arcaded frame incorporating engaged colonettes with abacus capitals, broad centre light and flanking blind arcade. Cross-finialled gablehead with glazed vessica.

SE ELEVATION: tall 2-stage apse with blank 1st stage giving way to 2nd stage with 6 regularly-disposed lancets under continuous hoodmould.

NE (ARBUTHNOTT STREET) ELEVATION: single lights to each stage of 5-bay aisled nave at right with further taller light on right return; slightly lower apsidal chancel at outer left with small gabled projection (organ housing).

SW ELEVATION: mirrors the above but with low vestry projecting at right incorporating 2 small lights on gabled return to right, further projecting polygonal-roofed choir and tower (see below) at junction with nave and apse.

TOWER: 2 upper stages of finialled, conical-roofed bell tower incorporating square stage with tiny openings giving way to reduced belfry with narrow stone-louvered openings under continuous hoodmould, cornice and stone-slated roof.

Diamond- and square-pattern multi-pane glazing patterns with clear and coloured margins and stained glass (see Interior). Grey slates with decorative terracotta ridge tiles. Ashlar-coped skews. Square-section, cast-iron downpipes with decorative rainwater hoppers and fixings.

INTERIOR: fine arcaded Romanesque interior with round columns and uncut capitals, clerestorey windows and hammeberbeam roof to nave; tall chancel arch and ribbed timber-lined barrel-vaulted roof to chancel and apse. Fixed timber pews. Narthex with 2-leaf screen door in pointed-arch opening with decoratively-astragalled leaded panels and fanlight. Apse with high altar and elaborately sculptured reredos by Gambier Perry of London, memorial to Mrs Annette Maria Baird of Ury (1884), incorporating 4 crocketted and finialled, pointed-arch, trefoil-headed niches incorporating marble figures of Ss Andrew, Peter, James and John flanking larger niche with seated Christ carved in high relief. Organ by Wadsworth of Manchester. Carved choir stalls (1927). Decoratively carved Caen stone pulpit designed by Arthur Clyne, incorporating quatrefoil panels with carved heads (see Notes). Marble font on octagonal shaft with cross-finialled timber cope from St John's Chapel, Aberdeen. Baptistery with niche containing belfry stone from former St James' Chapel, cross of Communion tokens, and marble font. Simple timber-framed brass War Memorial with timber pediment commemorating 'Members of St James Church Stonehaven Who Fell in the War 1914-1918', WWII memorial inscription at base.

STAINED GLASS: some fine coloured glass, including apsidal window depicting 'Christ crucified' by Clayton & Bell of London; W window memorial to Dean Christie showing 'Christ's Baptism' and 'Baptism from the Tolbooth window'; memorial windows to nave including 'The Good Samaritan' commemorating Leslie Thomson and family of Invercowie House, 'St James' memorial to the Adams Family (1832-1955), and 'Angel' in memory of Alexander Innes of Raemoor, died 1882. Sir Ninian Comper's baptistery windows commemorate David MacDonald, headmaster of Episcopal school.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: coped rubble boundary walls with pyramidally-coped square-section ashlar gatepiers and 2-leaf decorative ironwork gates.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Upgraded to category 'A' 26.10.93. This fine Episcopal church, by one of Scotland's foremost architects, has an impressive unaltered interior with fittings and glass by similarly respected designers in their various fields. It sits in pleasant gardens beside the Carron Water, and is one of Stonehaven's foremost landmarks. Work on the nave was begun on 21 September 1875, with the foundation stone laid by Rev Alexander Penrose Forbes, rector of the old Episcopal Church and subsequently Bishop of Brechin, and finished on 1 October 1877. The organ was installed in 1881 after a fund raising bazaar was held by the women of the congregation. As extra space was required, Anderson was consulted regarding completion of the church. His plans, with some modification to detail, appear to have been entrusted to Arthur Clyne and work was ultimately finished in December 1885. Anderson's original scheme provides for an ambulatory to the apse. The final seating capacity was 520. The baptistery was dedicated in 1906, and the early font 'was transferred over 100 years ago from St John's Chapel, Golden Square, Aberdeen to the Old St James' Church. It is one of the earliest stone fonts used in an Episcopal Chapel after the Revolution', (Christie and Paternoster). Sir Ninian Comper's father was the Rev John Comper, rector of the previous St James Chapel from 1857-61. The heads appearing in the quatrefoil panels of the pulpit depict St James, King David of Scotland, Bishop Forbes, Bishop Keith and Bishop Jolly, it was presented to the church by the Rev Disney Innes of Cowie. The Paschal candlestick is by Thompson's of Kilburn whose mouse trademark is carved on the base.



EYB (old F C Eeles editions). W Christie and M Paternoster ST JAMES' EPISCOPAL CHURCH A BRIEF HISTORY AND GUIDE. E Christie THE HAVEN UNDER THE HILL (1977), pp42-3. F E Eeks STONEHAVEN, HISTORICAL & DESCRIPTIVE (1897), p21. J Geddes DEESIDE AND THE MEARNS (2001), pp12-13. Aberdeen Central Library MEMOIRS BY JOHN MORGAN (1899 and 1906), p279, typescript.

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.

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