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Galashiels, Gala Park Road, South United Presbyterian Church

Church (19th Century)

Site Name Galashiels, Gala Park Road, South United Presbyterian Church

Classification Church (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) St Cuthbert's Church; St Aidan's Church

Canmore ID 99739

Site Number NT43NE 91

NGR NT 4912 3606

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2018.

Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Galashiels
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Selkirkshire

Architecture Notes

NT43NE 91.00 4912 3606

NT43NE 91.01 4909 3606 St Cuthbert's Church Hall

Site Management (10 June 2009)

Rectangular-plan, Middle Pointed Gothic church with prominent tower and octagonal spire to E corner and integral hall to S corner of plan. 3 bays to centre (N elevation) with quatrefoil rose window in hoodmoulded pointed arch over equilateral arched main doorway with further pitched and carved hoodmould above flanked by pointed lancet windows and smaller doors to outer bays. 2-light quatrefoil plate tracery and lower pointed tripartite lancet windows to sides; rose window to S gable. Square-plan 4-stage tower with attached single storey piended bell ringers chamber; shouldered buttresses; slender pointed arcades to louvres and windows at 3rd and 4th stages; squared and gablet pointed pinnacles to base of octagonal stone spire. Small hall to SE with later linking section to 1939 halls. Course rubble whinstone; blonde sandstone quoins and margins. Moulded string courses. Fine interior.

HALL: 5-bay rectangular-plan steeply pitched roofed hall with lower ancillary rooms linking to church at NE corner. Rendered. Horizontal timber multi-pane windows; slate roofs; rendered gable stacks. Hall interior: timber floors, boarded to dado height, glazed timber three panel doors.

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. St Aidans Church is a good example of an unaltered later 19th century gothic church with a finely detailed interior and fine stone detailing particularly evident in the tower and spire which stand as a prominent landmark over the centre of the town.

The church was built by the Edinburgh firm of Thornton Shiells and Thomson, a large domestic practice, as the South United Presbyterian Church at a cost of £5000. The designs were exhibited twice at the Royal Academy (1880 and 1885). St Aidans is thought to have been designed by Robert Thornton Shiells (1833-1902), primarily a church architect, who trained under David Bryce. Shiells is known to have designed a good number of churches for the United Presbyterian Church, of which St. Aidans is seen as a fine example.

The church was consecrated in August 1880 and has remained in ecclesiastical use since then. It was renamed St Aidan's in 1981.

The later halls were requisitioned by the military for use as a canteen during the war. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)


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