FOCHABERS, THE SQUARE, BELLIE KIRK (CHURCH OF SCOTLAND) (Ref:1616)
This building is in the Moray Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 26/01/1971.
Group Items: 59-61,
Group Cat: A,
Map Ref: NJ 345 587.
John Baxter, 1795-8. N facing rectangular 5-bay classical church with pedimented giant Roman Doric tetrastyle portico and steeple. Polished and tooled ashlar sandstone throughout. Square clock stage rises behind portico with N facing clock face dated 1798, oculus in each remaining face and angle urns; octagonal belfry with louvred or blind segmental-headed openings in each face, facetted spire with 3 diminishing sets of oval lucarnes in alternate facets; copper weathervane with pointers missing. 3 doors within portico with radial fanlights; regular fenestration, the gallery windows shorter than ground floor and some blind in E and W return gables; multi-pane glazing. 5-bay front with pronounced projecting 3-window bowed centre bay; long windows over short blind panels in ground floor. Piended platform slate roof. INTERIOR: entrance lobby with mirrored gallery stairs; doorways left and right into church. Galleried interior (?possibly re-furnished by Archibald Simpson, architect, circa 1830), galleries at E and W supported by Greek Doric columns; keystoned detailing to panelled fronts. Octagonal panelled pulpit on square base supported by stumpy fluted columns and reached by short flight of wooden stairs with simple balustrade. No back-board nor sounding-board. Seating layout with minor alterations and missing communion tables; coffered detailing to pew ends. Later organ in S bowed bay.
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Planned and built as architectural centrepiece of Fochabers by 4th Duke of Gordon. Original layout with centre communion tables, probably removed when building was recast in 1840s and pulpit placed in S bay window. Later alterations reverted to original layout, though present pulpit appears reduced in height.
Scottish Record Office RHP 8531-4 (plans and drawings dated 1795). George Hay, THE ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST REFORMATION CHURCHES 1560-1843 (1957), pp 85-6, 175, 266.
Howard Colvin, BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS 1600-1840 (1978), p 101.
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