Reginald Fairlie, 1911; passage and presbytery added 1914. Cruciform-plan, Scots Late Gothic church with squat 3-stage rectangular tower to front (liturgical W); crocketed spire surmounting stair to left; 5-bay nave; polygonal apse centred at rear (liturgical E); single storey, 8-bay arcaded passage to S linking church and presbytery. Squared and snecked bull-faced cream rubble sandstone (rake-jointed in part); polished sandstone dressings (lightly droved in part); red sandstone chequering to apse base. Base plinth to front; moulded string courses; corbelled parapets; moulded copes. Chamfered reveals to tower and spire; stepped battering to buttresses with pyramidal pinnacles; crowstepped gables to chancel and transept chapels. Polished long and short surrounds to openings; round-arched nave windows; pointed-arched windows to chancel and apse; decorative tracery patterns (including loop and curvilinear); chamfered cills; square-headed windows to remaining openings. Polished sandstone carving.
NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: projecting 3-stage tower at centre comprising round-arched 2-leaf timber panelled door at ground; stop chamfered, architraved surround; deep reveals to flanking single windows. Large 4-light, round-arched window aligned above with mouchette traceried head breaking string course; figurative sculpture (Our Lady) in hooded niche surmounting buttress to left; corbelled parapet with sculpted apostolic symbols. Single window at ground in buttressed bay recessed to outer right (baptistery). Buttressed square plan stair tower recessed to outer left comprising single windows at upper stages; crocketed crown spire; cruciform finial. Single storey, 5-bay transept recessed to outer right with single timber door in penultimate bay to outer right; bipartite windows in remaining bays.
NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: regularly-spaced round-arched nave windows set in buttressed bays; decorative tracery; pyramidal pinnacles breaking parapet. Stair tower to outer right with single timber door at ground; single windows at lower and upper stages; figurative sculpture (St Meddan) set in corbelled, hooded niche at 1st stage. Pointed-arched 4-light window centred in projecting, crowstepped bay off-set to left of centre (N transept chapel); decorative tracery; moulded stops to hoodmould. Apse recessed to outer left.
SE (REAR) ELEVATION: projecting 5-sided buttressed apse comprising blind central bay with polished panelling at upper stage flanking central corbelled niche; 2-light pointed-arched windows in remaining bays to left and right; cusped tracery; crocketed pyramidal pinnacles surmounting parapet; crowstepped gabled recessed behind. Chapels recessed to left and right; single stair lights in 2-storey bay to outer left; single storey sacristy adjoining to S.
NE (SIDE) ELEVATION, PASSAGE: regularly-spaced round-arched openings; polygonal columnar mullions; polished voussoirs.
Predominantly small-pane stained, leaded glazing; some decorative stained glass. Grey slate roof; crowstepped skews to chancel and transepts; cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: 5-bay arcaded nave with droved ashlar octagonal columns; plain capitals; square bases. Flat-roofed aisles with round arched braces springing from columns; stone benches lining walls. Narthex with organ loft above to W; timber organ in place. Pointed chancel arch to E; round-arch behind; chancel rearranged but stone, marble and mosaic reredos in place; large hanging crucifix over altar; panelled screens to side chapels. N chapel with sculpted Madonna set to front of arcaded screen (polygonal columns dividing alcoved bays); decorative painted frieze. Open timber roof with carved apostles protruding from hammerbeams; braces springing from columns. Regularly-spaced carved narratives depicting the stations of the cross lining aisle walls (replacement plaster moulds on wooden bases). Timber pews (Pratt and Lunardi, 1969); octagonal font; linen fold carved detail to pulpit.
BOUNDARY WALL: stepped, coped sandstone wall enclosing site; railings missing in part.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. An impressive church, widely renowned as one of Fairlie's best designs. Indeed, Nuttgens describes it as "...one of the best churches of the latter days of the Gothic Revival..... if Fairlie had done nothing else, it would still mark him out as an outstanding designer in the tradition." With an admiration for 15th century Scottish architecture, here Fairlie drew inspiration in particular from the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling. Thus, like its earlier counterpart, his design has a 5-sided apse, pinnacled buttresses with stepped battering, crowstepped gables and some loop tracery. Furthermore, a similar sense of monumentality, akin to that of Norman architecture, can be found in both cases. The Church of Our Lady and St Meddan makes clear Fairlie's ability to combine bold detailing, monumental character and simplicity of design. The adjoining presbytery, added in 1914 and accessed through the arcaded passage is listed separately - see 4 Cessnock Road. The building of both the church and presbytery was funded by a sum of money left to Troon's Roman Catholic community by John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, on his death in 1900.
Does not appear on Ordnance Survey map, 1909; Portland Feuing Book, 1911 (courtesy of R Close); P Nuttgens REGINALD FAIRLIE, 1883 - 1952 A SCOTTISH ARCHITECT (1959) p10, 11, 16, 17, 51, plates 6, 7, 8; F H Reid OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION, TROON BSc (1980); F Sinclair SCOTSTYLE: 150 YEARS OF SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE (1984) p72-73; D Walker "The Rhind Lectures", PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND (1991) p472; R Close AYRSHIRE & ARRAN: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992) p46; M McEwan TROON MEMORIES (1996) p28; M Glendinning, R MacInnes, A MacKechnie A HISTORY OF SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE PRESENT DAY (1996) p377; NMRS archives AYD/126/1, AYD/126/3, AYD/126/5, AYD/126/7.
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Printed: 23/03/2019 04:39