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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

GLENROTHES, CHURCH STREET, ST COLUMBA'S PARISH CHURCH INCLUDING HALL AND BELL TOWERLB49999

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Information

  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 05/10/2004

Location

  • Local Authority: Fife
  • Planning Authority: Fife
  • Parish: Kinglassie

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NO 26968 916
  • Coordinates: 326968, 700916

Description

Wheeler & Sproson, 1958-62. Single storey with clerestory centrally planned church. Harled with wide timber band above and stained glass clerestory now obscured by external corrugated plastic. Lower projecting sections harled. Gabled elevations. Attached hall to NW. Distinctive tall triangular bell tower.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: gabled elevation with timber band and corrugated plastic (obscuring stained glass) to upper level. Lower projecting blind section with windows in re-entrant angle with central advanced entrance with central recessed 2-leaf timber door with narrow glazed red inserts. Datestone to left with carved Celtic cross and date, "4th June 1960". Additional projecting simple flat roofed canopy with very slender supports provides shelter. Recessed lower single storey wing to left provides access to large hall set at right angles to NW with asymmetrically pitched roof.

INTERIOR: timber and brick. Mondrian-inspired Belgian stained glass clerestory. Aluminium roof. En suite timber font, lectern and communion table. Brick and timber pulpit. 51x8ft Alberto Morocco mural of The Way of the Cross. Timber pews.

BELL TOWER: 6-stage steel triangular 70ft bell tower with slatted vertical panels to S elevation.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. An influential and liturgically-experimental centrally designed church which took its model from Burntisland Parish Church. Listed for its contribution to eeclesiological change, the quality of its stained glass and mural.

Wheeler & Sproson were commissioned in December 1958 to design a church, parochial centre and manse. The foundation stone was laid by the Earl of Wemyss on 4th June 1960 and the church was dedicated on the 14th April 1961.

St Columba's was intended to be the largest of three churches planned by the Church of Scotland for the New Town of Glenrothes and it was Wheeler & Sproson's first church commission. The building was subject to a very tight budget (initially set at £34,000) and building schedule (40 weeks). Wheeler & Sproson chose to open up the design process to include those who would use the building and they took advice from the theologian Professor James Whyte of St Andrews University. Professor Whyte questioned the liturgical requirements and favoured a return to 1st principles of traditional Scottish reformed worship of the early post-Reformation period. The centrally planned 1592 church at Burntisland was taken as a model (see separate listing).

Wheeler suggested Alberto Morrocco for the impressive large mural, 'The Way of the Cross', which was completed in 1962.

The manse was demolished in the late 20th century to make way for the car park which is now to the N. The church and hall have suffered structural problems for some time and the hall is currently (2004) undergoing extensive refurbishment.

References

Bibliography

John Gifford, THE BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND - FIFE (1988) p232. ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE XII - THE JOURNAL OF THE ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND, Diane Watters, ST COLUMBA'S, GLENROTHES: A POST-WAR DESIGN LABORATORY FOR REFORMED WORSHIP (2001) pp66-87.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

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.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 30/09/2016 16:07