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Lanark, Hyndford Road, Cemetery, Murray Chapel

Chapel (20th Century)

Site Name Lanark, Hyndford Road, Cemetery, Murray Chapel

Classification Chapel (20th Century)

Canmore ID 200519

Site Number NS84SE 235

NGR NS 88875 43193

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Lanark
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydesdale
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Site Management (22 October 2008)

2-storey, square-plan, symmetrical, Art Nouveau chapel, plan changing to Greek cross in upper level with 3-bay open round-arched loggia extending to NE corner and single arch to small court SW punctuated by small paired rectangular windows. Diocletian windows over 3 single lights to projecting 1st floor bays, small domes in re-entrant angles with narrow round arched niches over; modillion cornice between raised angle piers. Central dome supporting a winged figure on circular pedestal flanked by 4 urns. Deep dentilled cornices. Inscription pedimented arched entrance doorpiece on cherub headed brackets reads 'though will not leave us in the dust, thou hast made us, thou art just'. Decorative stained glass panels to large round arched windows. Small-pane windows to plain windows. Copper roofing to small domes, metal roofing to main dome. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

The Chapel is an impressive design of the early 20th century presenting aspects of the Art Nouveau style, but particularly evoking the work of the Viennese Secessionists. A strong, symmetrical composition, with a good sense of proportion, incorporating fine stone detailing and architectural sculpture, including fine depiction of winged figure to building´s apex. Fine use of sandstone ashlar to exterior with fine marble, stone and stained glass finishes to interior. The building has an interesting plan form, square at ground with small domes at each angle, rising to Greek cross at clerestory level with prominent Diocletian memorial stained glass windows further defining the space.

This is a very unusual building type in Scotland, only a few other cemetery chapels are known, the Vicarsford Chapel in Leuchars and the Mortuary Chapel in the Western Cemetery in Arbroath. Comparative building types are 18th and 19th century burial vaults and crematoria which become prevalent from the 1930s onwards.

The Chapel is located in a prominent elevated setting within an extensive multi-period graveyard and acts a defining landmark in Lanark Burgh from S. It lies close to the ruins of the St Kentigern's Church. Known as Murray's Memorial Mortuary Chapel it was erected by philanthropist Helen Murray, descendant of diamond merchant John Murray, as a public and ecumenical mortuary chapel and bequeathed to the community in 1912. (Historic Scotland)


Archaeological Evaluation (10 April 2007 - 11 April 2007)

NS 888 431 A programme of archaeological evaluation at Lanark Grammar School was undertaken on 10–11 April 2007 in connection with a planning condition. This work consisted of trial trenching of 5% of the application area. No archaeological features were identified.

Archive to be deposited with RCAHMS. Report deposited with South Lanarkshire Council SMR.

Funder: WSP Environmental for Amec.


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