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.'
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