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Dundee, Wellgate, St Andrew's Church

Church (18th Century)

Site Name Dundee, Wellgate, St Andrew's Church

Classification Church (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) King Street

Canmore ID 122226

Site Number NO43SW 105

NGR NO 40453 30694

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dundee, City Of
  • Parish Dundee (Dundee, City Of)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District City Of Dundee
  • Former County Angus

Summary Record (2011)

Box church with elegant steeple in a Gibbsian style. Designed by Samuel Bell, probably using plans by James Craig, built 1772-4. Though it has lost its original harling, the exterior is enlivened by two Venetian windows and decorative swags, not commonly found in Presbyterian churches.

Built with money raised by the Trades Corporations of Dundee, due to the town not deeming another church necessary even within the rapidly growing city in the eighteenth century. The Trades were the 'Nine Incorporated Trades' (Bakers; Cordiners (shoemakers); Glovers; Tailors; Bonnetmakers; Fleshers (butchers); Hammermen; Weavers and Dyers) and the 'Three United Trades' (Masons; Wrights and Slaters). St Andrew's is now the only Trade Kirk in Scotland and an annual ceremony of 'Kirkin of the Trades' still exists. The importance of the Trades in the building of the church is recorded in the oval plaque on the south front.

The role of the Dundee Trades is also clear from the chairs belonging to each in the galley facing the pulpit and the banners hanging on the walls.


Architecture Notes


Dundee, Samuel Bell 1772-4 (with plans made by James Craig).


Publication Account (1987)

St Andrews Church is a fme example of the wide rectangular preaching churches built in Scotland in the second half of the 18th century. It was built in 1774 by the Incorporated Trades of the burgh to a design by Samuel Bell. The Palladian elements of the facade reflect the organisation of the interior. The two large tripartite windows flank the pulpit in the middle of the south wall. The two-storey treatment of the end bays shows the position of the south ends of the U-shaped gallery and the twin doors lead into the aisle round the communion table. The church has an elegant steeple sunnounted by a lively gilded dragon as a weather-vane. There is a formal garden to the south with contemporary gates and railings to the street.

The Glasite Chapel of 1777 is situated on the eastern boundary of the garden. This is a small octagonal building with the usual pyramidal roof and two storeys of round leaded windows. The interior was gutted some years ago when the building was used for commercial purposes. The refectory where the members ate between Sunday services stood to the north-east This building has been demolished and the octagonal chapel has been incorporated into the St Andrews Church halls which link the two structures. Although the Glasite or Sandemanian sect is almost extinct, being reduced to two chapels in Britain, John Glas remains an important figure in other nonconformist sects. Many of these sects consider his writings as fundamental to their beliefs, and, although he did not live to see the octagonal chapel described here, these writings were produced in the city.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

Photographic Survey (13 January 2011)

Photographed by RCAHMS on behalf of the Buildings of Scotland series and Listed Buildings Survey.


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