Listed Building

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

EAST MAIN STREET, BRUCEFIELD CHURCH (CHURCH OF SCOTLAND) WITH COURTYARD AND CHURCH HALLS (INCLUDING FORMER CHURCH)LB51254

Status: Designated

Documents

There are no additional online documents for this record.

Summary

Category
A
Date Added
04/12/2008
Local Authority
West Lothian
Planning Authority
West Lothian
Burgh
Whitburn
NGR
NS 94857 65021
Coordinates
294857, 665021

Description

Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth and Paul, 1965-1966 (Principal William Kininmonth; project and design architect, Tom Duncan); adjoining 1857, rectangular-plan rubble former Free church (interior later altered to gymnasium/hall); later hall (1915) and main hall (1958) linked to SW of site. Roughly-rectangular plan Modernist church with plan diagonally cut on NE corner with rounded edges, on prominent corner site with swept up fins to roofline. Dry dash render, brick and laminated timber beam construction. Monolithic concrete cross in swept up shallow concave niche facing side road to E fronting and supporting recessed porch to NE corner entrance, deep boarded timber eaves above narrow horizontal clerestory; N (sanctuary and vestry end) elevation with double-height convex apse with pointed fins; 5 vertical, rendered buttresses to W facing semi-enclosed courtyard, continuous plate glass in large timber frames; overhanging timber boarded eaves raked up at 45 degree angle.

INTERIOR: Scandinavian inspired design. Exposed laminated beams with a composite of framing timbers, including columns, timber lined ceiling; raked seating, long varnished light timber pews; architect-designed pulpit, font and furniture in varnished light timber.

Timber framed windows. Flat roof.

1857 CENTURY FORMER CHURCH and HALLS: rectangular-plan, squared snecked rubble former church (originally built as Free Church, linked to modern church by glazed link to SE, converted to hall/gymnasium in 1966). Pointed arched doorway to N, flanking pointed arched windows (blocked). 2 wide bays to E and W with squared coursed rubble and pointed arched windows (blocked). 1915 HALL: single-storey rectangular-plan rendered hall, at right angle to 1857 church and obscuring S elevation; later subdivided with offices and storage rooms. 1958 HALL: to SW corner of site connected internally to 1915 hall, rectangular-plan, square windows to E; continuous glazing to W; pitched, slate roof.

Statement of Special Interest

Brucefield represents the best of post-war church design in Scotland during the 1960s and can be included among a small group of innovative sculptural compositions for the Church of Scotland. The church was one of a select number of post-war commissions for the Church of Scotland which was emphatically modernist in its conception and was spearheaded in this parish by the forward-thinking Rev William McMartin. Church of Scotland buildings of this period were generally more conservative in design than their Roman Catholic counterparts, however a small group - and some notably designed by the practice of Rowan Anderson, Kininmonth & Paul - were the exeption, including St Mary Magdalene, Portobello (1966) and the Category A-listed Craigsbank, Corstorphine (1964-7). The open-plan design demonstrates the move to a less hierarchical form of worship occurring during this period follow the principles of the contemporary Liturgical Movement.

This church building is comparable to many existing post-war church listings of Gillespie Kidd & Coia, and as a design, is wholly representative of expressionistic Modernism, in the vein of Le Corbusier's later work, and in particular, Notre-Dame du Haut, Ronchamp.

The site has been particularly well-planned, with the swept and recessed entrance providing a focus to the corner. As well, the relationship of the new to old is highly successful in recreating a 'cloister'. The influence of Spence at Coventry can be sited, albeit modest in this situation. The quality of the interior is high and well-ordered, reflecting the contemporary taste for Scandinavian design, and the architect-designed furniture (including pews, pulpit, font and other pieces) is also contemporary and significant to the overall design concept of the church.

This church commission was personal to the architect, Tom Duncan, who was a native of Whitburn and a long-standing member of the parish. He apprenticed with the esteemed practice of Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth and Paul, starting with them in 1948. Kininmonth was still the principle while Brucefield Church was erected. Duncan assisted Kininmonth with many other noteworthy developments during the 50s, 60s and 70s including Salisbury Green, Pollok Halls for the University of Edinburgh (listed Category A) and Elgin Town Hall (listed Category B) for which he was largely responsible, Town Centre Redevelopment and West Port Redevelopment, Linlithgow (Saltire Awards gained for both, 1970), and a number of similar projects in West Lothian and throughout Scotland.

The original Brucefield Parish Church was located in Longridge Road; the parish took possession of the former Free Church in East Main Street from circa 1930. The total cost of the commission was £32,500 which was coordinated by the Church of Scotland National Extension Committee, begun in 1949.

References

Bibliography

West Lothian Courier, 16 March 1962; 26 November 1965; 15 July 1966; 23 December 1966. C McWilliam, Lothian (except Edinburgh) (1980), p. 466. Richard Jacques, West Lothian, RIAS architectural guide (1994), p. 83. Original drawings, collection of Tom Duncan (2008). Additional information courtesy of John R Hume (2008).

About 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.

Images

There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to EAST MAIN STREET, BRUCEFIELD CHURCH (CHURCH OF SCOTLAND) WITH COURTYARD AND CHURCH HALLS (INCLUDING FORMER CHURCH)

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 10/12/2018 06:09