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- Category: A
- Date Added: 28/09/1999
- Local Authority: Scottish Borders
- Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
- Parish: Ayton
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 92729 60866
- Coordinates: 392729, 660866
James Maitland Wardrop, 1864-66; internal repairs and alterations, 1973. Near T-plan, First Pointed style church with 3-stage, square-plan tower with stone spire to SW; single storey, gabled porch and adjoining lean-to vestry to NE; gabled aisle projecting to S; 5-sided chancel to NE. Coursed, lightly bull-faced cream sandstone; sandstone ashlar dressings. Projecting base course; moulded string and cill courses (stepped in part); moulded eaves. Buttressed angles; long and short surrounds to pointed-arched openings; regular voussoirs; architraved hoodmoulds with moulded stops; decorative sandstone tracery; chamfered cills.
SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION, ENTRANCE TOWER: tower to outer left with steps to 2-leaf, boarded timber door centred at ground in trefoil-headed surround, decorative iron hinges; pointed-arched, louvred windows centred in upper stages; gabletted stone lucarnes aligned above to 4 faces of finialled and broached sandstone spire; carved stone gargoyles to angles and lucarnes. REMAINDER: 2-bay nave recessed to right with bipartite windows in single storey, lean-to projection at ground; trefoil openings in circular windows aligned above. Large traceried window in gabled bay projecting to right (S aisle); trefoil window centred in finialled apex. Single storey porch, set at angle, in re-entrant angle recessed to right; boarded timber door; decorative iron hinges; shouldered-arched surround. Single windows in buttressed chancel to outer right.
NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: single windows in buttressed chancel projecting to right of centre. Single storey porch in re-entrant angle recessed to left; single window in S aisle to outer left. Single storey gabled porch recessed to outer right.
NW (REAR) ELEVATION: large, traceried window in gabled bay off-set to left of centre (N aisle); trefoil window in circular opening centred in finialled apex. Gabled porch to left with decorative timber bargeboards, surmounting finial, mosaic-tiled floor, pointed-arched outer entrance, trefoil-headed surround to boarded timber door set within; 2-bay, lean to addition to right (vestry) with tripartite window in bay to left; single window to right. Single windows in buttressed chancel recessed to outer left. 2-bay nave slightly recessed to right of centre with single windows set between buttresses.
SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3-stage tower off-set to right of centre with single window centred at ground; arrowslit opening aligned above; pointed-arched, louvred window centred in upper stage; gabletted dormer aligned above in finialled and broached sandstone spire. Gabled nave adjoined to left with tripartite window centred at ground; large, rose window above, vesica centred in finialled apex. Shouldered-arched surround to boarded timber door in single storey, lean-to addition recessed to outer left. Blind elevation to S aisle recessed to outer right.
Some plain leaded glazing; decorative stained glass windows by Ballantine & Sons. Grey slate roofs; stepped stone skews; gabletted skewputts. Carved sandstone gargoyles to tower and chancel; decorative rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: E wing converted to chancel 1973; Ayton Castle pew removed. Predominantly boarded timber floors; decorative tiling in part. Boarded timber dado panelling; panelled timber doors; open timber ceiling with carved sandstone springers beneath hammerbeams. Whitewashed walls; cream sandstone ashlar dressings. Timber pews with trefoil-headed finials and quatrefoil panels; columnar supports beneath tiered gallery to SW (timber panelled front). Pointed-arched arcading to SE with ashlar columns (engaged to outer left and right); carved foliate capitals. Plain stair accessing gallery with boarded timber dado. Octagonal-plan timber pulpit; decorative timber communion table; sandstone font dated 1856. Organ in place to NW with timber casing and decorative painted pipes. Church bell inscribed 'Mears & Stainbank, founders, London....A.D 1865.'
BOUNDARY WALLS, RAILINGS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: low coped walls partially enclosing site; hopped iron railings. Plain, arched gatepiers flanking pedestrian and vehicular entrances; hooped iron gates.
WAR MEMORIAL: rectangular-plan, stepped base beneath tapering shaft with inscribed granite panels centred in each face; large, stylised cross-shaped finial.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. A prominent and superbly designed Victorian church set at the E end of Ayton village. Noted in the OS GAZETTEER as "...a beautiful First Pointed structure, with nave, S aisle, transept, and chancel, and a spire 120 feet high, and stained glass chancel and transept windows." Built to replace the nearby, now ruinous St Dionysius' Church - see separate list entry. This new church, designed by the Edinburgh-based architect, James Maitland Wardrop, was erected at a cost of ?7000 - the majority of which was donated by Alexander Mitchell Innes of the nearby Ayton Castle. See separate list entry for nearby graveyard - 'St Dionysius' Church (remains of), Graveyard.'
Ordnance Survey map, 1860 (not evident). RUTHERFURD'S SOUTHERN COUNTIES' REGISTER AND DIRECTORY (1866, reprinted 1990) p596. THE BUILDER, 1867. F H Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER Vol 1 (1882) p106. J Robson THE CHURCHES AND CHURCHYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1896) p14. Ordnance Survey map, 1899 (evident). BERWICKSHIRE NATURALISTS' CLUB TRANSACTIONS, Vol 21 (1909-1911) p241. C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1994) p22. G A C Binnie THE CHURCHES AND GRAVEYARDS OF BERWICKSHIRE (1995) pp26-28. NMRS photographic records.
Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.
Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.
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