© All rights reserved. Builkding News 28 February 1873, volume 24, p261 

Larger versions of these images are located at the foot of the page.

Basic Site Details

Name: St James Episcopal Church - church, lodge and rectory
Town, district or village: Leith
City or county: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: Leith (N.B.).—New Episcopal Church.—The foundation stone of the new edifice for St. James s Episcopal congregation, Leith, has been laid by the Right Hon W E Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer. For the site the sum of £2,000 has been paid and it is estimated that the church will cost between £5,000 and £6,000. The designs, which include a church seated for fully six hundred persons, and a parsonage, are by Mr. Gilbert Scott. The church consists of a nave of five bays, with north and south aisles extending from the east gable westward two bays, a chancel with semicircular apse, and a tower and spire. The nave and aisles are seated for the congregation ; the chancel is seated with stalls tor the choir; and the apse is occupied by the altar and reredos, and seats for the clergy. On the ground floor of the tower is the vestry, which has a private entrance. In the upper part of the tower is a bell-room surmounted by an octagonal spire pierced by slender lights protected by projecting gablets carried on shafts. The whole of the church is covered in with an open timber roof; that of the nave is boarded on the underside of the braces and ties to a polygonal form; and the chancel, apse, and aisles to the form of a pointed arch. There are two entrances—one in the west gable, the other in the south transept. The west door is surmounted by three two-light windows, the heads filled with plate tracery: in the apex of the gable is a vesica window. The windows of nave and aisles have three lights and in the apse and chancel are single-light pointe windows, the jambs and arches moulded. It is understood that the windows in the west gable will be filled with stained glass, by Messrs. Clayton and Bell The extreme length of the church inside is 125 feet; the breadth of nave 37 feet 6 inches; of aisles 14 feet. The height of the tower and spire, 180 feet. The style adopted is that of the thirteenth century. Messrs Berry, of Edinburgh, are the contractors for the mason-work, Mr Swann, of the Edinburgh Saw-Mills, has the carpenter-work.

'a decorative mural scheme designed by Mr E.P.C. Clarke, himself an architect and one-time organist of the old cathedral. This decoration consisted of painted stencil work throughout the body of the church, culminating in elaborate arabesques in the domed apse, the niches between the windows of which contained painted representations of saints Margaret of Scotland, Luke, Paul, James the Less, Andrew, Peter, Mark, Ninian and Columba. This design, approved by Mr Scott, never altered and lasted the lifetime of the building. The work was executed by the beadle, Mr Kirkpatrick, a painter by trade, who had taken up his St James’s duties in 1858 and was to serve the congregation for 48 years'. (Extract from pdf on website http://www.stjamesleith.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/St-James-History-to-1900.pdf accessed July 2015.)

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1St James's ChurchYes 

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Church  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 2119, Constitution StreetYes 
Item 2 of 2St John's PlaceYesRectory


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 618041805Build/constructionOriginal chapel
Item 2 of 618611864ReconstructionAnderson executed design by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
Item 3 of 611 January 1861 Foundation stoneFoundation stone laid by W E Gladstone.
Item 4 of 6Mid 1863 Completion 
Item 5 of 61873 Decoration carried out 
Item 6 of 61908  Reseating and pulpit


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 5James ThomsonMasonA18041805Probably the 'Mr Thomson' mentioned in Storer (see below)
Item 2 of 5(Sir) George Gilbert ScottArchitect, Architectural practice 18611864Reconstruction - design executed by Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 3 of 5(Sir) Robert Rowand AndersonArchitect 18611864Reconstruction. Anderson executed design by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
Item 4 of 5Edward Francis Channing ClarkeArchitectH1873 Interior decorative scheme.
Item 5 of 5John More Dick PeddieArchitect 1908 Reseating and pulpit

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Child Structures

This structure or site has the following component or child structures (click on an item to view details):
 Building NameNotes
Item 1 of 1St James Episcopal Church HallSee separate entry for church.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 1McKinstry, Sam1991Rowand Anderson, the Premier Architect of Scotland Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Presspp28-30

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Building News16 January 1863   
Item 2 of 2Building News28 February 187324 p261 (interior decorative scheme)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register27545Rectory (former)
Item 2 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register27226Church
Item 3 of 5National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDick Peddie and McKay Collection DPM 1900/77/1
Item 4 of 5National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDrawings Collection Original drawings
Item 5 of 5St James Leith archiveLoose papers in possession of the congregation  


© All rights reserved. Builkding News 28 February 1873, volume 24, p261 

© All rights reserved. Builkding News 28 February 1873, volume 24, p261