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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 12/12/1974


  • Local Authority: Edinburgh
  • Planning Authority: Edinburgh
  • Burgh: Edinburgh

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 26071 71020
  • Coordinates326071, 671020


Leslie Grahame Thompson (later MacDougall), 1929-1933; modern church hall to rear. Arts and Crafts Gothic, cruciform-plan church with side aisles, square plan tower to SE angle and cloister court, vestries, session house, hall and church officer's house to E. Craigmillar stone rubble with Doddingston stone dressings. Curvilinear tracery to chancel windows; plate tracery to side windows and tower; flanking buttresses.


TOWER: 5 stage with buttresses clasping angles, crenellated with slit windows to ground, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stages; segmental-arched windows to 4th floor.

E ELEVATION: 3 light apsidal elevation to chancel; steps to carved panel at ground; single storey cloister buildings (see below) adjoining to left and right; tower recessed to right.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: steps to segmental-arched doorway at ground; flanking panelled columns with carved angels surmounting; carved shield, finial and blind traceried panels to doorpiece; segmental arched recess above with pointed arched window to vestibule.

S (WEST SAVILE TERRACE) ELEVATION: advanced segmental arched doorway to outer right; 2 leaf, heavily carved panelled door; carved shields above and to flanking buttresses; single window above. 5 bay aisle block to left; tripartite windows to side aisle at ground; segmental-arched windows to nave above; advanced bay to left (south transept) with pointed arched window; tower and church offices adjoining to outer left.

N (BLACKFORD AVENUE) ELEVATION: advanced, segmental arched doorway to outer left; 2 leaf carved and panelled door; carved shields above and to flanking buttresses; single nave window above. 5 bay aisle block to left; tripartite windows to side aisle at ground; segmental arched windows to nave above; advanced bay to right (north transept) with pointed arched window; square plan bell tower with copper cupola to

re-entrant angle with 3 bay chancel block to E.

INTERIOR: complete as original with dominant nave and chancel with low, arcaded side aisles and shallow transepts. Coffered barrel vaulted roof to nave; ribbed pointed tunnel vault to chancel with decoratively carved bosses; segmental arched openings to side arcades with original lanterns between arches. Copious decorative oak carving to doors, pew fronts, choir stalls and reredos depicting angels, biblical scenes and religiously symbolic fruit and foliage; carved stone altar, lectern and pulpit; painted panel above altar to reredos depicting Judas' dismissal from the Last Supper. Stained glass chancel windows depicting nativity, crucifixion and ascension.


Adjoins church to E; various church offices linked by loggias to E and W, curvilinear walls to E and entrance wall to S. Voussoirs to arched openings; stylised, trefoil motif above window openings; pitched roof coping to linking walls; overhanging eaves.


2 storey, 3 bay with 2 stage octagonal tower to SW.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: steps to central doorway; panelled door; trefoil headed bipartite windows to ground floor flanking bays and to 1st floor gabled bay to outer right; tower with small windows at ground and sundial to 1st floor to cloister court.

SESSION HOUSE: adjoining church tower and boundary to cloister court; single storey, 2 bay; panelled door with carved architrave to outer right; bipartite window to advanced, gabled bay to left.

HALL: single storey, 3 bay with advanced, gabled central bay, linking block to loggia adjoining to right and octagonal tower to outer left; central, round arched 2 leaf panelled door with carved heraldic panel to gablehead; tripartite windows to flanking bays and to linking block to W.

12 pane timber casement windows. Grey slate pitched and piended bell cast roofs; coped wallhead and ridge stacks.

INTERIORS: not seen 1996.

LOGGIA: 3 bay to E with central speakers' platform with decorative wrought iron railings, 2 bay blocks flanking main church to W with bipartite windows to rear wall; segmental-arched openings with cornices and carved Maltese cross motifs to springers.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND RAILINGS: curvilinear walls to E with oval openings with wrought-iron insets. Entrance wall to S with central, segmental arched gateway; decorative wrought iron gate; flanking paired inverted voussoir arches with wrought iron inserts. Low coped rubble wall to street; panelled gatepiers; original railings and rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The church was built by William Crambe Reid according to the dying wish of his father. The congregation originally worshipped at the High Church on the Mound (now the faculty of divinity) until 1935. The church is a fine example of a complete design in the Arts and Crafts tradition: it attempts to replicate the medieval age of church building with its cathedral-like proportions and detailed craftsmanship. Its overall emphasis is on the idea of Ascension, hence its strong vertical elements. The external carving was the work of Alexander Carrick and the ornate wrought iron work by Thomas Hadden (who also worked for Robert Lorimer). The interior carving was executed by the Scott Morton and Tynecastle Co, the reredos paining by William Lawson and the stained glass by James Ballantine. The cloister area was an ingenious device to provide a tranquil space, shielded from the noise of heavy traffic and to prevent future building next to the church that may obscure the light to the great chancel windows.



Leslie G Thompson THE REID MEMORIAL CHURCH (c.1935), pp 5 23; J M M Anderson THE REID MEMORIAL CHURCH: A JUBILEE DESCRIPTION (1985), pp1-21; NMRS photographs; Gifford McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1992), p484 485; C McKean THE SCOTTISH THIRTIES (1992), p127-128.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

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