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
Planning Authority
NS 57976 67572
257976, 667572


A former Free Church designed for the Free St Matthew's Congregation in 1896-99 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (while an assistant with John Honeyman and Keppie). The building is constructed of red sandstone ashlar with a tapering 'medieval' tower, gothic gables and bespoke Art Nouveau details that pre-figure Mackintosh's later decorative work.

The building has a rectangular plan, with transepts and porch. At the southwest angle is a tapering tower with stair turret, perpendicular window and louvred window in the upper stage, derived from the medieval tower of Merriott Church, Somerset. The prominent south elevation has two full-height gabled bays with large perpendicular gallery windows, adjoining tower, two low aisle bays spanned by a bold flying buttress. At the east a two-storey porch with highly distinctive Art Nouveau details. The west gable has a large perpendicular window.

The interior has a wide timber barrel-vaulted hall, spanned by rolled steel tie beams.

A passage aisle to the south links the two main entrances. There are galleries to the east and in the southwest projection, boldly cantilevered with pendant details.

Some of the furnishings to the interior were designed by Mackintosh. In 1944 the rear five rows of pews were removed and the timber used to construct a decorative screen under the east gallery, designed by Thomas Howarth. The west window has three coloured lights designed by Gordon Webster in 1960. The beam spanning the chancel arch, which is not strictly speaking a rood beam as it does not support a cross) is a reconstruction installed in 1990, based on photographs of the original which was removed in the 1950s.

The adjoining hall is reached by a link from the east end. The hall is rectangular-plan with a typical Mackintosh open-trussed roof and top lighting. Tall dado panelling with deep cornice.

Statement of Special Interest

Queen's Cross Church is Charles Rennie Mackintosh's major ecclesiastical work. While the overriding style is gothic, the general form of the building and its decorative details recall medieval architectural forms. This suburban church is an exceptionally important landmark building featuring a wide variety of elements, lending the building a dynamic sense of movement across the principal elelvation. The disparate parts are pulled together by the square tower at the corner of Springbank Street. No longer in ecclesiastical use, it has been the home of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society since 1977. In 1994 money was gifted to the Society by Thomas Howarth to enable it to buy the church.

While the 1896 church committee minutes name John Keppie as the architect, it has never been doubted that Mackintosh was responsible for the design. His authorship could not be acknowledged publicly at that time because he was still only an assistant in the practice. He drew the elaborate perspective which was exhibited at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1898. Mackintosh's drawing is closer to the finished building, but there are some significant differences, indicating that the design continued to evolve during construction. The church was also included in a list of his works, published towards the end of his life. (Mackintosh Architecture)

Queen's Cross church belongs to a wider development in Presbyterian church design, which from the 1880s onwards moved away from galleried auditoria intended simply for preaching and towards a more spiritually resonant architecture of worship. The interior ceiling is modelled on The Holy Trinity Church (1886) in Hammersmith, London by Richard Norman Shaw.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was born in Glasgow and is regarded internationally as one of the leading architects and designers of the 20th century. He became known as a pioneer of Modernism, although his architecture took much inspiration from Scottish Baronial, and Scottish and English vernacular forms and their reinterpretation. The synthesis of modern and traditional forms led to a distinctive form of Scottish arts and crafts design, known as 'The Glasgow Style'. This was developed in collaboration with contemporaries Herbert McNair, and the sisters Francis and Margaret Macdonald (who would become his wife in 1900), who were known as 'The Four'. The Glasgow Style is now synonymous with Mackintosh and the City of Glasgow.

Mackintosh's work is wide-ranging and includes public, educational and religious buildings to private houses, interior decorative schemes and sculptures. He is associated with over 150 design projects, ranging from being the principal designer, to projects he was involved with as part of the firm of John Honeyman & Keppie (Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh from 1901). The most important work during this partnership was the Glasgow School of Art (LB33105), which was built in two phases from 1897 and culminated in the outstanding library of 1907. Other key works include the Willow Tea Rooms (LB33173), the Glasgow Herald Building (now The Lighthouse) (LB33087) and Hill House (LB34761), which display the modern principles of the German concept of 'Gesamtkunstwerk', meaning the 'synthesis of the arts'. This is something that Mackintosh applied completely to all of his work, from the exterior to the internal decorative scheme and the furniture and fittings.

Mackintosh left Glasgow in 1914, setting up practice in London the following year. Later he and Margaret moved to France, where until his death, his artistic output largely turned to textile design and watercolours.

Listed building record revised in 2019.




Printed Sources

Brown, A (2018) Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style. Glasgow: Glasgow Museums.

Cooper, J (Ed). (1980) Mackintosh Architecture: The Complete Buildings and Selected Projects. 2nd Edition, London, pp.30-1.

Crawford, A (1995) Charles Rennie Mackintosh, World of Art series. London, pp.44-7.

Fletcher, C K (1991) The replacement of the rood beam beneath the chancel arch at Queen's Cross church, Garscube Road, Glasgow, Prospect, Spring 1991 (No 43), pp.18-19.

Howarth, C R (1945) 'Queen's Cross Church, Glasgow: designed by C R Mackintosh (1868-1928)', Trans Scot Eccles Soc, Volume 13, 1941-5.

Howarth, T (1952) Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement. London, pp.175-8.

Jones, A (1990) Charles Rennie Mackintosh. London, pp.122-3.

Kaplan, W (ed. (1996) Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow/ New York, London, pp.136-7.

Neat, T. & McDermott, G. (2002) Closing The Circle Thomas Howarth, Mackintosh and the Modern Movement. Aberdour: Inyx publishing.

Robertson, P. (editor) (1990) Mackintosh: The Architectural Papers. Wendlebury: White Cockade Publishing.

Small S (2008) Greater Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide, Glasgow: RIAS, Rutland Press, p.57.

Waddel, J J (1933) 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Man and His Work: An Appreciation', RIAS Quarterly, Spring 1933, p.12.

Williamson, Riches and Higgs, E, A and M. (1990) The Buildings of Scotland - Glasgow. London, pp.326-7.

Online Sources

Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 870 Garscube Road at [accessed 2019]

Dictionary of Scottish Architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, [accessed 30/05/2019].

University of Glasgow, Mackintosh Architecture, Queen's Cross Church, at [accessed 2019]

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.

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Printed: 25/06/2022 12:57