Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
Planning Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 65169 79125
265169, 579125


CHURCH: begun 1753, with later additions, William McCandlish, 1833, and 1886 (see Notes). 5-bay, T-plan church, situated on small rise within surrounding churchyard. White painted harl with red sandstone skews and bellcote. Corbelled eaves. Narrow, round-arched window openings. S elevation with central, slightly advanced gable and lower, projecting entrance porch. To W gable apex; square-plan bellcote with round-arched openings to sides and steep, pyramidal stone roof. Crosses to other gable apices.

Predominantly plate glass fixed pane glazing with coloured glass margins. Graded grey slates. Raised skews; skewputts.

INTERIOR: white painted interior with fine open-timber roof, with elaborate crossing formation with hanging pendant. Dado-height timber boarding and timber pews, Communion table and pulpit. Stained glass window by Gordon Webster, 1928 depicting Christ as Lord of All. 6-panelled timber doors.

CHURCHYARD: surrounds church. Contains a variety of 17th, 18th and 19th century gravestones including rare, civic Crimean War Memorial, circa 1856. Some 18th century stones with carvings of memento mori, including angel heads, skulls and plants. Number of table stones, including 18th century memorial to Covenanter, Robert Grierson. Further 18th and 19th century carved stones, obelisks and Celtic crosses. 1840 statue of Old Mortality by John Corrie set within boundary walls (see Notes).

CRIMEAN WAR MEMORIAL: square-plan, red sandstone Memorial with base course, cornice and gabled capping stone. Inscription to each face commemorates 5 local men.. Carvings to the capstone include cannon, rifle, crossed swords and cannon balls.

BOUNDARY WALLS: Coped rubble walls surround churchyard.

Statement of Special Interest

This 18th and 19th century church with its associated churchyard is situated on a small hill within the village of Balmaclellan and is an important part of the landscape. The churchyard in particular is notable for its diversity of 18th and 19th century gravestones and the inclusion of a rare, civic Crimean War Memorial. The church is of a simple T-plan and has some decorative details in the crosses, bellcote and corbelled eaves. There are a number of notable examples of carved memento mori on the 18th century stones within the churchyard.

The simply designed Crimean War Memorial is rare monument, thought to be the only one of its type in Scotland. It commemorates five local men who died in the War. Civic commemoration like this only became popular after the First World War. Before this, most war memorials were dedicated either to individual men, erected by their families, or to regiments. Other gravestones in the churchyard include the tombstone of a Covenanter, Robert Grierson and the tombstone of Robert Paterson, a local stone carver, immortalised by Sir Walter Scott as Old Mortality. A statue of Robert Paterson with his pony, carved by a local sculptor, John Corrie, is set within the boundary walls of the churchyard. Dating from 1840, it was moved to this site in 2000.

A church is thought to have been on this site since the 15th century, but the main body of this church was built in 1753 with the North aisle being added in 1833 by the local builder-architect, William McCandlish (circa 1779-1855). The bellcote is also likely to be from this period. In 1886 the slightly advanced gable centre and projecting vestry were added to the South elevation, as were the corbelled eaves and the round-arched windows.

Gordon Webster (1908-87) was the son of the well known stained-glass artist, Arthur Webster was killed in the First World War. Gordon worked from his studio in Glasgow and produced stained glass windows for many of Scotland's churches.

The Old Mortality Statue was formerly listed as a seperate item under statutory address, 'Holm Farm, Old Mortality Statue Group' before being relocated to Balmaclellan Church.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1854-8. H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, 1995 p629. J Gifford, Dumfries & Galloway, Buildings of Scotland, 1996, pf114. Information from (accessed 15-04-09) and (accessed 05-05-09). Other information courtesy of minister and local resident.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 25/09/2020 04:20