R G Sykes of Liverpool, 1885-6. Early English gothic church of cruciform plan on sloping site, with L-plan church hall of circa 1900 to SW. 5-bay church including gabled transeptal bays flanking entrance elevation to N; crenellated square tower centred to S with gabled transepts flanking to E and W, gabled chancel to S; single storey over basement vestry projecting at centre with flanking porch and wing. Stugged sandstone rubble walls with stugged sandstone ashlar dressings, polished at arrises. Base and eaves courses. Chamfered arrises and sloping cills to pointed-arched (lancet) windows.
TOWER: blank S elevation with buttresses extending to left and right; lancets to outer left and right of N elevation with diagonal buttresses at corners; framed blank panels with floreate stops centring E and W elevations with flanking lancets; string course and cornice below crenellated parapet.
N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical; ashlar steps accessing central pointed-arched 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door with decorative iron hinges; wheel window centred above; pointed-arched windows flanking door; buttresses with ball-finialled pyramidal caps framing elevation.
E (LOWER HILLHEAD) ELEVATION: stepped 3-light lancet window centring gabled transept advanced in bay to left, flat-roofed porch with vertically-boarded timber door recessed in re-entrant angle to left. 3-bay nave elevation to right; bays divided by buttresses, 2-light lancet window in centre bay with single lancets in flanking bays. Gabled bay slightly advanced in bay to outer right; buttresses framing bay; pointed-arched vertically-boarded timber door with decorative iron hinges at ground, roundel with moulded surround in gablehead above containing quatrefoil superimposed with carved dove.
S ELEVATION: stepped 5-light lancet window centring chancel gable; single storey over basement gabled vestry projecting at ground with narrow windows flanking centre at principal floor and 2-flue wallhead stack with circular cans at SW corner; matching flat-roofed wing and porch flanking in re-entrant angles.
W ELEVATION: mirrored image of E elevation except for tall exposed base course, carved cross in roundel of left gable and paired pointed-arched windows at wing recessed to right of transept gable.
Early 20th century stained glass depicting Madonna and Child in N wheel window, stained glass in S wheel window of 1892 by R G Sykes; plain glazing set into reveals of other nave, transept and tower windows; 4-pane and plate glass timber sash and case windows to vestry and SW wing. Purple-grey slate roof with cast-iron profiled gutters and downpipes. Pyramidal slate roof with wrought-iron weathervane to tower. Triangular ashlar skew copes with gablet skewputts.
INTERIOR: panelled inner vestibule porch; panelled doors with 3-pane glazed uppers and ancient stone set in wall to right. 4-panel, 2-leaf timber inner entrance doors. Cruciform plan nave with large pointed-arched openings at crossing and smaller arches accessing transepts. Vertically-boarded timber wainscoting and pews; stencilled frieze with gothic script over entrance door; splayed reveals to windows, plain coved ceiling with hammerbeam trusses bearing on stone corbels. Organ of 1897 by Harrison and Harrison of Durham in W transept; panelled case with trefoil decorated frieze and open frame above, crocketted at corners, and containing stencilled organ pipes. Balustraded dais with octagonal timber pulpit.
CHURCH HALL: stugged squared and snecked ashlar, droved at arrises. Rectangular gabled hall with partially harled gabled porch projecting at right angles from NW corner. Tripartite windows with taller central light to principal gables; polished ashlar relieving arch over E window; base course and buttresses framing elevation; narrow windows to side elevation and porch. 3-pane timber sash and case windows and plain fixed lights; purple-grey slate roof; prominent ashlar skew copes with gabletted skewputts.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: random rubble walls to E and N; stugged crenellated cope raised to stugged gabled gatepiers at NE corner. Random rubble walls to W (retaining) and S.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building, in use as such. Built to replace the old church of 1839 in Hangcliff Lane, the foundation stone was laid in June 1885 by the Rev Dr Calderwood, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University, and opened in July 1886 by Rev Dr Ferguson of Queen?s Park Church, Glasgow. The church was a United Presbyterian Church from the time of its erection until the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterian Church took place in 1900. It was then named St Ringan?s United Free Church. This meant there were two United Free churches in Lerwick, the other being St Olaf?s (see separate listing). When the union of the United Free Church and Church of Scotland took place in 1929, St Ringan?s became a Church of Scotland. In 1931, the congregations of St Ringan?s and St Olaf?s united as one congregation of the Church of Scotland until a further union of the Parish Church (see separate listing) with Bressay, St Olaf?s and St Ringan?s which was followed by an agreement in 1958 where Lerwick and Bressay Parish Church exchanged their church building, formerly known as St. Oalf?s Church, for St Ringan?s, the former church thereafter being known as St Olaf?s Hall. The stained glass windows were also designed by Sykes. The modern paint applied to the S wall behind the dais obscures script similar to that over entrance door, and reading "This Man Revereth Sinners and Eateth with Them".
We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shep-dec2011.pdf, Annex 2, pp74-76.
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