Sir J Ninian Comper. 1899-1907. 5-bay, near-cruciform with low crenellated tower; nave, chancel and S aisle complete. Important Gothic Revival Episcopal church on E-W orientation. Squared and coursed polychrome granite rubble. Gothic traceried windows with hoodmoulds. Set in prominent site and raised location overlooking main road in Braemar village.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: gabled elevation with large 5-light intersecting traceried window, diagonal offset buttresses, louvred opening above window, cross shaped finial at gable head. Low, flat roofed, crenellated porch to left.
S ELEVATION: aisle with intersecting traceried window to each elevation.
E ELEVATION: gabled elevation with large 5-light traceried window, divided by trefoil headed transom, with quatrefoil. Single louvred lancet above. Cross shaped finial at apex.
N ELEVATION: large blind arch below tower, harled surround, hood moulded rose window above.
Grey slate, cast iron rainwater goods, hoppers carry mark of the Mar Estate.
Elaborate cast iron gate arch and lamp, dated 1894, by McFarlane and Co, Saracen Foundry, Glasgow.
INTERIOR: particularly fine interior scheme. Episcopal decoration with timber furnishings and Gothic/medieval detailing throughout. Rendered walls with exposed ashlar dressings. Timber barrel vaulted ceiling to nave with pair of castellated tie-beams, similar in S Aisle. Stone ribbed vaulting to tower, decorative cradle vaulted timber roof to chancel. Timber floor with stone central aisle, single wooden seats. Ornate, dark stained oak, Gothic vaulted rood-screen with armorial panels, surmounted by painted and gilded crucifix, flanked by statues of the Virgin and St John. Turnpike stair leads from vestry, giving access to pulpit set in the wall, and rood-loft above. Carved timber stalls with decorative bench ends. Stone altar with railings but missing reredos and hangings. Aumbry set in wall to left, piscina to right. Simple gothic font, oak lectern with octagonal base and revolving two-sided desk.
Statement of Special Interest
No longer in ecclesiastical use, still owned by Episcopal Diocese of Aberdeen (2005). This church is a remarkable example of a late Gothic Revival church, very much in the English style, although making use of local materials, the granite stonework giving a marked polychromatic effect. Although a relatively uncomplicated structure the architect has displayed an assured knowledge of Gothic form and proportion, which is clearly reflected in the composition of the building and many of its internal features. The external appearance of the church, and its internal scheme, taken together, combine to form a rare survival of Comper's work in a substantially unaltered state.
John Ninian Comper was a nationally important exponent of the Gothic Revival and was responsible for churches throughout the UK. He was also an expert in stained glass. This church is considered to be one of the finest example of his work and shows an expert knowledge of the components and proportions of the different phases of Gothic style, as well as a ready ability to blend them into a consonant whole. His symbol, a strawberry, is a frequent motif.
The church was built to house congregation of tourists from England during summer season; it replaced a timber church by Pirie and Clyne (1880). The south aisle was used for services during winter months when the congregation was far smaller. The building cost £8,000, paid for by Eliza Schofield, or raised through donations from congregation and 'friends'. The first meteorological station in the village was at the top of the tower.
Currently in poor state of repair, some furnishings missing, pointing failing in places, severe damp penetration.