Alan Dreghorn, architect, 1739-1756. The design for this important and striking church is based largely upon James Gibb's London masterpiece of St Martin-in-the-Fields (1722), and it heralds a new style for large scale classical church design in Scotland. The interior has London precedents in the plasterwork of James Clayton and the richness of its' fittings are of exceptional quality.
Rectangular galleried church, 5 x 7 bays strictly symmetrical with 5-stage steeple, polished ashlar, stonecleaned. Bays marked by giant Corinthian pilasters and angle pilasters. All openings in Gibbsian rusticated surrounds with keystones and bracketted cills, those to ground depressed-arched, those to 1st round-arched. W elevation has steps to giant unfluted Corinthian hexastyle portico 1-bay deep, outer and centre bays to ground have round arched doorways with semi-circular fanlights and double-leaf panelled doors. Inner bays to ground and 1st
have niches. Otherwise sash and case windows with small-pane glazing. Dentilled pediment with cartouche in tympanum.
E elevation with Venetian window to centre bay, square headed doorways to outer bays with triangular pediments.
Flanks 7-bay regularly detailed as above.
Polished band course over ground, dentilled cornice. Balustraded parapet with die pedestals supporting urn finials, similar finials to gable apexes.
STEEPLE square section to lower 2 stages, oculi to lowest stage, 2nd stage rusticated quoins round-arched windows to each face. Cornice with angle urn finials over 2nd, clockfaces to 3rd. Above this rises octagonal colonnaded drum with dome surmounted by pinnacle with ball finial.
INTERIOR: exceptionally lavish 18th century interior, largely unaltered in its finest features of plasterwork and woodwork, however, alterations to the interior were carried out in 1874 by John Carrick, and in 1921 by Peter MacGregor Chalmers. 5-bay interior galleried to 3 sides with giant fluted Corinthian Columns supporting galleries as they rise to support barrel vaulted roof. To W gallery supported by smaller fluted Ionic columns, all with gilded capitals, to E shallow chancel (formerly site of organ). The plasterwork, by Thomas Clayton, and the
timberwork are of the highest quality as is the stained glass, mainly by Stephen Adam. The pews are laid out with aisles below the galleries, they are of pine and date from 1874 designed by John Carrick. The gallery fronts are original, carved mahogony in swagged and diapered panels. The fine mahogony octagonal pulpit rises from an
elaborately carved baluster shaft also supported by a Corinthian pillar which terminates in a gilded crown.
The rococco plasterwork of the vaulted ceiling is the work of Thomas Clayton begun 1753, as presumably is the elaborate gilded plaster surround to the clock in the W wall. The stained glass replaced original clear glazed sash and case windows, it all dates from circa 1874 and is signed by Stephen Adam. The Robert Anderson memorial window to the N gallery is particularly good and Pre- Raphaelite in design.
In the chancel are now housed 9 fine mid 18th-century chairs, originally sited in the W gallery as seating for the Provost and magistrates. Flanking the chancel the Willis organ (1874) is now housed in the upper N chamber. Organ pies to rear of chancel. The walls throughout are stencilled and gilded, repainted in 1920's but to a much earlier design.
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.
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 www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
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.
Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.