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
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NS 26733 83988
226733, 683988


William Spense, 1851 with additions of nave by Honeyman and Keppie, 1891 and with 1938 additions at E side. Cruciform-plan, Gothic church with entrance tower and lantern. Ashlar fronted with cream harl and pink sandstone dressings and margins; base course; quoin strips; hoodmoulds; chamfered reveals.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: liturgical W end, ashlar symmetrical front of entrance tower at centre with flanking buttressed bays and harled transepts recessed to right and left. 2-stage, pinnacled tower with diagonal buttresses; 2-stage, pinnacled, octagonal lantern rising from tower. Moulded, pointed arch door at ground, hoodmould, blank shields above to right and left. Large, 3-light, pointed-arch window at 2nd stage; modillion cornice. Tall pinnacles with octagonal shafts at corners of tower. Full-height pilaster strips dividing each facet of lantern, louvred windows, bipartite and single window at 1st stage and

pointed Y-tracery alternating with lancets at upper stage; clock

dated 1881 between stages. Deeply-moulded consoles supporting parapet of pierced crosses with dies and ashlar pinnacles. Flanking, crenellated, buttressed bays, mullioned recticulated tracery. Harled transepts to right and left, pointed-arch window to left of bay.

NE ELEVATION: gabled transept to left and 2-bay nave to right; 1938 single storey, rectangular-plan, 5-bay harled, church hall extension against nave wall masking traceried windows and buttresses of nave at ground. Bipartite, pointed windows; paired at NW gable with 2-leaf door and date 1838 carved into lintel. Large, 3-light traceried window to transept gable; door to right, 2-leaf, half- glazed.

SW ELEVATION: gabled transept to outer right, 1938 flat-roofed addition built against transept in re-entrant angle. 2-bay nave, buttress; modern wood and glazed door to ground outer left.

NW ELEVATION: (E end) gable with large window at centre, flanking buttresses; modern, inserted windows, deep splay to ground outer right and left. 1938 block to outer left.

Pointed-arch, geometric traceried windows, leaded and stained glass. Grey slate roof, ashlar coping to skews and skewputts, bracketted skewputts.

INTERIOR: entrance hall with minto tiles, boarded ceiling with centre rosette; gothic war memorial; stone stair to upper rooms, decorative cast-iron balusters, wooden handrail. Main body of church with plasterwork ribbed ceiling springing from slender colonettes with floral capitals; centre embossed rosette; ash pews. Organ and altar set at centre of SE end; altar table dedicated 1911 to Rosina Douglas Drew of Ardincaple, carving of Last Supper on front; lectern of similar date. Marble and granite free-standing font at NE side of church. Stained glass windows dedicated to various local notaries; eg Robert Michael Donaldson of Blairvadoch, John McLeod Campbell, minister of

Rhu. Black marble memorial to Robert Napier of West Shandon.

1930s church hall, high polished wood dado, dividing doors; memorial plaques to the Keyden family and Albert Black of Largarie.

GRAVEYARD: monuments of interest include 1708 wall tomb at S end of graveyard; inscription faded but dedicated to memory of Rev John Allen and son. Red sandstone pedimented and finialled memorial, latin inscription, memento mori plaque.

1728 monument to the 3 McFarland sisters, curvilinear monument with raised, simple figures with hands on hips.

Later 18th century classical ashlar aedicular monument with swan-neck pediment, triangulated buttress with inscriped detail, skeletal bases to columns; faded inscription.

Greek-revival style tomb the property of John Wilson of Dundyvan, died 1851.

Tomb to Henry Bell, sculpted figure of the engineer and shipbuilder on tall plinth (faded inscription), erected by Robert Napier.

Portion of wall of 2nd church of Rhu built 1763 preserved as monument to James Buchanan of Craigend Castle who died in 1860.

Late 19th century Venetian Gothic memorial to Matthew Andrew Muir and his wife Agnes Bunton of Ardenvohr, died 1886.

Monument to Helen Newton Whitelaw (died 1912) wife of Sir James Guthrie died 1930. Classical, white ashlar monument with sculpted angels head.

Number of other monuments dating from 17th century to 19th century; symbolic gravestones with memento mori symbols, one to a blacksmith with the symbols of his trade, hammer, bellows and anvil; others with skeletons, angels.

BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: W WALL & GATE: stugged, sandstone wall with semicircular coping. Octagonal, cast-iron piers with arrowhead railings.

E WALL AND GATE: rubble wall with semicircular coping; slender cast-iron piers, simple curved railings.

SUNDIAL: immediately to SE of church. Dated 1637, ashlar bulbous base with square head, copper gnomons; incised numbers and dates.

Statement of Special Interest

An ecclesiastical building in use as such. Rhu and Shandon Parish Church, the 3rd to be built on this site, was designed in 1851 by William Spense. The money for the building of the church came from Robert Napier of West Shandon and Sir James Colquhoun of Rossdhu. In 1891 Honeyman and Keppie lengthened the nave but preserved Spense's original front. The church was further added to in the 1930s with a

vestry to the W and additions to E. The interior was reorganised

from 1903-1912. The bell dates from 1851 and was gifted by

Robert Napier.



F A Walker & F Sinclair NORTH CLYDE ESTUARY (1992) p90. Iain B Galbraith A VILLAGE HERITAGE 1648-1980 (1980) p33, 35, 60. SKETCHES OF


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.

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Printed: 04/10/2022 23:38