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- Category: A
- Date Added: 12/01/1971
- Local Authority: South Lanarkshire
- Planning Authority: South Lanarkshire
- Parish: Dalserf
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 79979 50712
- Coordinates: 279979, 650712
1721, incorporating 1655 fragments; renovated 1818 and 1894. 2 storey, 5-bay symmetrical T-plan galleried church with tall chatri form belfry to S set to NE of walled graveyard with gatepiers flanking entrance to E. Harled with painted ashlar dressings. Plain margins to openings; plain wrought-iron handrails and banisters to forestairs; strip quoins.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: boarded door at ground in advanced, pedimented bay to centre; window at 1st floor; clock set to centre of pediment; apex extended to form pedestal base of decorative cast-iron belfry; floreate carving at base of columnar supports with pierced fringed border below ogee, finialled canopy. Stone flight to boarded door at 1st floor in left return. Tall round-arched window in each bay flanking centre. Window at each floor in bays to outer left and right.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: window at each floor in advanced gabled bay to centre; ridge stack behind. Blank walls to advanced block set behind. Window at each floor in bay set back to outer right and left.
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: tall window in bay to centre. Stone flight to boarded door with deep-set 2-leaf timber panelled door at ground beneath, at 1st floor in advanced bay to right. Boarded door with fanlight and window flanking in bay set back to outer left.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: tall window with 2-leaf boarded door to right in bay to centre; stone flight to 2-leaf boarded door at 1st floor in bay set back to right; boarded door at ground beneath steps; stone flight to 2-leaf timber panelled door at 1st floor in advanced bay to left; deep-set 2-leaf timber panelled door (used as church entrance) at ground beneath.
Timber sash and case, fixed leaded and stained glass and fixed timber framed windows. Grey slate piend and platform roof; trefoil-headed gabletted roof vents to S and N; harled coped ridge stack to N; cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: panelled ceiling defined by egg and dart cornices; plain timber picture rail below; 8-point star ceiling vents. Furnishings upgraded 1818: steps to raised centred pulpit recess, with canted timber panelled pulpit, below round arched pilastered and corniced timber screen set against S wall; timber panelled vestry door to left; platform with plain timber panelled altar set in front of pulpit; timber panelled gallery round 3-sides (N, E and W) with columnar supports flanking aisles; boarded timber pews; vertical boards to dado height lining walls to central (N) gallery; later timber panelled and part-glazed entrance screening at ground to N.
GATEPIERS, GATES AND BOUNDARY WALLS: channelled and stugged cream sandstone ashlar gatepiers with string course, cornice and raised ball finial; curved buttress behind S pier; wrought- and cast-iron gates; squared sandstone rubble walls with flat ashlar cope.
CHURCHYARD: contains predominantly headstones, most dating from early 19th century, some from 18th century; wall mounted stone to SE commemorates several burials, the earliest for Elizabeth Derson, who died in 1795. Below clock and belfry to SE lies 11th century hog?s back stone found on site in 1897. Obelisk, decorated with acanthus leaves to base, restored in 1968, sited to NE of church, commemorates Reverend John McMillan, who died in 1753.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Built in 1655 on the site of an earlier structure, as evidenced by the finding of an 11th century 'hog's back' stone in the churchyard, suggesting that a Norman structure had previously stood on the site, probably a chapel to St Machan or St Serf. Both the church and the manse were repaired in 1721. The original 17th century T-plan church, accommodated a long communion table in the rectangular section with the vestry and belfry projecting from the side wall. Here, as in many churches of this type, the form was enlarged in the 19th century with galleries and further seating added to the other side; the 1840 statistical accounts tell us that these alterations took place in the years 1818 and 1819. The interior of the church provides an compact and intimate environment with short aisles and a good view of the pulpit from all seating areas. Forestairs give access to the galleries, saving vital space within, and each seating section has its own external access door, allowing quick and easy entry and exit from the church; there are seven external doors as a result.
NSA (1840) p730; appears on 1st edition OS map, 1859; H Sykes, HISTORICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE PARISH OF DALSERF; 3RD SA (1950), p393; G Hay, THE ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST REFORMATION CHURCHES (1957), pp92, 262; I Macleod & M Gilroy, DISCOVERING THE RIVER CLYDE (1991) p93; A Cunningham, A SHORT HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF DALSERF PARISH CHURCH (1995).
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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