77 FALCON AVENUE, ST PETER'S CHURCH (RC), CHURCH OFFICES AND PRESBYTERY WITH BOUNDARY WALL, GATEPIERS AND RAILINGS (Ref:27257)
This building is in the Edinburgh, City Of Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 14/12/1970.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NT 2475 7147.
Robert Lorimer, 1906-7, nave completed 1928-9. Large Italianate hall church with canted apse, transepts and slender campanile, courtyard to S formed by 2-storey buildings of meeting room and priest's house. Square and snecked rubble with dressings of yellow droved ashlar, 2nd phase brick-built with rubble facing. Round-arched windows to main church; rectangular windows to domestic building, shouldered-arched at ground floor, at 1st floor with flat ogival arch; ashlar mullions; stone brackets and lugged gables to church. CHURCH: towering rectangular 6-bay nave with tall narrow windows divided by shallow off-set buttresses; sculpted panel of annunciation in 4th bay from W of S elevation. W ELEVATION: gabled with moulded circular window framed by sculptures of 4 evangelists; single storey flat-roofed 5-sided baptisry with round-arched lancets to right; single storey flat-roofed chapel to left. TRANSEPTS: gabled; each with tall narrow window in gable wall, arrowslit window in gablehead. CAMPANILE: tall square-section campanile in re-entrant angle of nave and S transept with pilaster strips, top stage with vertically banded masonry and 2 narrow openings to each face under Pagoda-type swept finialled roof. E ELEVATION: gabled with arrowslit window in gablehead. Canted apse with tall windows to side faces, gabled E face with sculpture of crucifixion (Joseph Hayes) in gablehead; octagon stair tower in re-entrnt angle of apse and N transept with arrowslit windows and bank of arrowslit windows in small round-arched panels under bracketted flat roof. Single storey flat-roofed lady chapel (1970) in re-entrant angle of stairtower and N transept with rectangular windows (later addition). PRESBYTERY: forming E range of courtyard; single storey 2-bay round-arched loggia facing courtyard to right, carved roundel of Agnus Dei in spandrell 2-storey presbytery to left with chamfered corners swept to square at eaves level, tall stair window and i single windows. Elevation to Falcon Avenue with gabled bay to right, bipartite and single window, projecting ground floor to left with lean-to roof and single windows, single window at 1st floor above. W elevation with gabled bay to right, single and bipartite windows (window to left altered and re-glazed). CHURCH OFFICE (PREIST'S HOUSE): forming E range of courtyard; 2-storey and attic; round-arched 2-bay loggia facing courtyard to left, large sculpture of St Peter in spandrel, bipartite windows above; gabled bay to right with bipartite windows. Elevation to Faclon Avenue 4-bay windows at 1st floor above; Bay to left of centre with small stained glass window at 1st floor over carved panel of angle holding model of priet's house (Louis Deuchars). Elevation to Falcon gardens with gabled outer bays with single windows to left, bipartite wand tripartite windows to right; doorway to centre bay flanked by small windows, small windows at 1st floor above; single storey link to chancel with catslide roof to outer right. Square leaded panes (coloured border and toned glass to church) Copper roof to church (originally pantiled), pantiled bellcast roofs to domestic buildings with skews at inlaid pantiles (after Lutyens) and corbelled skewputts; 3 corniced ridge stacks with stop-chamfered arrises. Cast-iron moulded gutterheads (carved ashlar lionhead gutterheads to E walls of transepts). INTERIOR: white-washed brick with exposed red brick base to arcade and aisle walls; tall round-arched nave arcade with square-section piers; larger arches at crossing (to N transept cut by organ chamber and side chapel); panelled timber ceiling with heavy moulded cross-beams, wagon roof to centre with flat panels alongside; wrought-iron monograms as anchors for tie rods across narrow aisles; 3-bay round-arched loggia to W end; parquet floor, modern pine pews. FURNISHINGS: raised marbelled apse with inlay of fish motifs; painted timber rood screeen (now to E wall of apse) (Joseph Hayes); white marble altar; in baptistery embossed lead font with fish motif (G P Bankart); large painting of Confession of St Peter (Frank Brangwyn), to W wall (formerly in apse); carved crucifix in apse; bronze sculpture of St Peter on marble base. STAINED GLASS: 2 lights in apse (Christ's ministry), 2 lights in N transept (Our Lady) by Morris and Gertrude A Meredith Williams, S transept (Life of St Giles), 3 lights in W wall (St Columba, St Catherine) by Nina M Davidson; 3 lights NE chapel (memorial to Canon John Gray) by Pierre Fourmaintraux. BOUNDARY WALL, GATEPIERS AND GATES: rubble boundary wall with saddleback coping, plain cast-and wrought-iron railings with ornamental fence posts, tall arched main gate with cast-iron gatepiers and lamp standards, 'St Peter'S Church' inscribed at gate.
The building of St Peter's is closely related to its firt priest, Canon John Gray and its benefactor, Gray's friend Andre Raffalovitch, both former members of Oscar Wilde's circle (see Smith). The interior of the church was much altered after 1962 following Vatican II. Lorimer's original, highly symbolic interior with cast-iron altar rails with fish motifs (some grilles of this kind surviving in baptistry) and the elaborate marble altar (present altar in mutilated form) has almost been completely lost.
The interior has been hailed as forward-looking in its design but John Kinross's St Peter's, Torry, Aberdeen, 1989, has greater and earlier claim to this position and was a possible source for Lorimer's design.
Dean of Guild 18/1/1906, 8/7/1927. Gifford et al., EDINBURGH (1984); pp618-9. P Savage, LORIMER AND THE EDINBURGH CRAFT DESIGNERS (Edinburgh, 1980), pp99-100. C J Smith, MORNINGSIDE (Edinburgh), 1992, pp145-149. P Napier, "To what extent did a renaissance-style patronage affect and direct the design of this church?" unpubl. paper, 1975 (Ed Cent Lib); also various contemp. descriptions held at Ed. Room of Central Lib.
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