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.