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This building is in the Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Burgh. It is a category A building and was listed on 14/12/1970.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 3045 7374.


J T Walford, 1903 (design date), 1906. Church in idiosyncratic Gothic style with incipient Expressionist tower and modern (1991) single storey addition to NE. Bull-faced sandstone with polished ashlar dressings; harled and stone clad modern addition to NE. Base course and string courses.

NW (BRIGHTON PLACE) ELEVATION: main door to centre; tower to SW corner; baptistery to NE. Pointed-arched 2-leaf panelled door to gabled bay to centre in gabletted doorpiece; pointed arch traceried window above, pointed arch arcaded band course above, cross finial (now fibre glass); octagonal pinnacle towers flanking with polished ashlar open blunt lantern at top. 2-storey addition to outer right with pointed-arch windows to upper section to each elevation.

TOWER: boarded 2-leaf door at base of square-plan steeple with octagonal clasping buttresses breaking wallhead in arcaded lantern (as above), taller one to centre with further lantern; louvered pointed-arched paired openings to each elevation (louvers now fibre glass), arcaded band course above.

BAPTISTRY: single storey semi-octagonal bay to outer left with off-set buttresses dividing each face and with traceried windows to each elevation, deep parapet; polygonal dies pyramidally capped.

SW (SANDFORD GARDENS) ELEVATION: 7-bay. Tower to W (see above). 2-storey semi-octagonal projection (see W elevation). Lean-to single storey aisle projection to all except outer bays of elevation; 2 traceried windows to each bay at ground, single pointed-arch window above to each bay except penultimate and ultimate bays (chancel). Semi-octagonal piended projection to end of aisle with buttresses and pointed-arched windows to each elevation; 2-storey semi-octagonal and buttressed termination to chancel with pointed-arched traceried windows to each elevation.

NE ELEVATION: baptistery terminating aisle to outer right (see above). 4-bay aisle windows to each at ground and large pointed-arched clearstorey windows with loop tracery above. Advanced M-gabled Sacristy, bipartite windows to each gablehead, door to left; modern 3-bay (with garage) addition to outer left.

SE ELEVATION: polygonal apse with dividing capped buttresses and polygonal capped dies, pointed arch, traceried windows in gablets with fleur-de-lys finials.

Cusped and curvilinear traceried windows. Slate roof. Wrought-iron finials to gableheads and apex of piended roof, outer left bay of W elevation.

INTERIOR: fine display of materials and craftsmanship. Diamond-shaped leaded glazed panels fanlight and upper section of vestibule partition, boarded panelling to lower section. Panelled balcony above with organ pipes above. Pointed-arched octagonal piered arcading with carved angels corbels at springing point (all Grange stone from Burntisland), also at chancel arch. Clearstorey windows set in pitch pine vaulted ceiling with pendants at apex of each. 3 confessionals to left of left aisle. Terracotta-colour encaustic tiles with black and white herring-bone boarded to passages and timber parquet flooring to pew-areas.

CHANCEL: raised 4 steps; carved alabaster and marble chancel fence; marble flooring.

BAPTISTERY: (to left of door) wrought-iron screen and gates; marble flooring; marble font and brass Art Nouveau cover.

SIDE CHAPELS: (to either side of chancel); marble flooring; alabaster and gilt altars to both (S chapel used as a Lady chapel now with altar depicting the Madonna taking the sacrament).

FURNISHINGS: altar, designed by Walford, with painting of Last Supper. 15 ft tall traceried reredos of polished alabaster. Pulpit with 4 carved Evangelists now removed and carvings used as decoration to sacristy corridor. Pine pews. Organ by Rushworth and Dreaper (moved from Hawick in 1961). Carved timber and coloured bas-relief Stations of the Cross, in Gothic frames. Stone (Portland?) carved statuette of St John to left of chancel arch, in style of Hew Lorimer. Wrought-iron with finials gilded to sides of chancel.

STAINED GLASS: to chancel windows, of Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection by Edward Frampton and bordered colouring to other windows.


Ecclesiastical building in use as such. OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH is a useful source about the premises prior to the building which has now been erected. There was a chapel (once Episcopal) on the site and was housed in what was "originally in 1826 a villa" (in fact a couple of terraced houses terminating the terrace in Sandford Gardens) and was bought for the purpose in 1834 by the Bishop of Edinburgh (P 147). The foundation stone was laid in 1905 and was formally opened in February 1906. The recent alterations lead to some degree of demolition to the NE. The plans showed further chapels were intended, one to each of the south and north elevations. Edward Frampton also executed the stained glass for the parish church at Aberlady, East Lothian. According to the research of Mrs Rosemary Spiers, Edward Frampton shared an office/studio in 1878 with, amongst others, 'James Thos. Walford'; they also shared in 1883 and it was only in 1887 that Frampton had his own accommodation. It would seem quite possible that the work carried out at St John's could have been by this old acquaintance.


Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND-EDINBURGH VOLUME, (1991), P 651. J Grant, CASSELL'S OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH, (1883), p 147. Dean of Guild Archives (1956-sacristy).

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).