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Basic Site Details

Name: St George's Free Church
City or county: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
Status: A listed
Grid ref:
Notes: By the end of 1881 work on the new tower was well advanced. A contemporary recorded:

The Tower of Free St. George's is nearly complete, and its outline easily seen through the scaffolding. It is of good altitude, 180 feet more or less, and will be a notable landmark in the city, in excellent contrast to its neighbours, the dome of old St. George's, the Perpendicular tower of St. John's, and the massive spire of St. Mary's Cathedral. The church itself is Classic Italian, of ponderous details, massive pillars, pediments and cornices. The new addition has nothing in accord with it, and may be described as a very plain tower, with open belfry stage and lantern above it in the emasculated and eclectic Classic of Queen Anne. The little sculpture employed is flat and of the monumental order, heads alternating with honeysuckle, etc. The pilasters at the angles of the tower are finished off at base of the belfry stage as buttresses, with weatherings having a section of double curvature. Over these the base mouldings project slightly, and these in their turn are carried back with large cavetto sweep to the piers of the belfry stage, which stand considerably back from the lines which form the tower, giving a quaint bell-cast outline to this portion of the edifice. The belfry-stage is Greek, i.e., it has on each face three lintelled openings, the angle piers being carried up above the upper details, to a moderate height, when they have pyramidal tops. The lantern stage is still lighter in design, and is octagonal or circular, with eight circular-headed openings, and conical roof boarded for lead or slate. The outlines for distant effect are all happily proportioned, and the only questionable arrangement is the treatment of the pilasters, which seems to intensify the change from the heavy to the lighter style, the belfry looking more discontinuous in its aspect than if the pilaster projection had been diminished, the apparent bulk of the tower reduced, and the ordinary treatment employed. The merit of the design lies in its simplicity. [Building News 30 December 1881 p887-899]

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 3Free St George's Church Alternative original name
Item 2 of 3St George's UF Church  
Item 3 of 3St George's West 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 3Castle Terrace Address originally intended
Item 2 of 3Shandwick PlaceYesAddress as built
Item 3 of 3Stafford StreetYesOn corner with Shandwick Place


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 718661869ConstructionMain part
Main part of church erected
Item 2 of 7After 1875Before 1911 Alterations
Item 3 of 718811882 Tower
Item 4 of 7c. 1920  Memorials to Alexander Whyte and Dr White
Item 5 of 71928  Alterations
Item 6 of 7Before 1934  Internal renovation
Item 7 of 7Late 1970s Alterations and additions 


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 15David BryceArchitectA18671869 
Item 2 of 15(Sir) Robert Rowand AndersonArchitectB18811882Tower
Item 3 of 15Anderson & BrowneArchitectural practiceB18811882Tower
Item 4 of 15George Washington BrowneArchitectB18811882Tower
Item 5 of 15Thomas Rollo Walker MossmanArchitectB18811882Tower - as apprentice to Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 6 of 15(Sir) Robert Stodart LorimerArchitect c. 1920 Memorials to Alexander Whyte and Dr White
Item 7 of 15J M Dick Peddie & Walker ToddArchitectural practiceC1928 Alterations
Item 8 of 15William James Walker ToddArchitectC1928 Alterations
Item 9 of 15Stewart KayeArchitect Before 1934 Internal renovation
Item 10 of 15William Hughes McLeodArchitectALate 1970s Alterations
Item 11 of 15(Sir) Harry Anthony Wheeler (or simply Sir Anthony Wheeler)ArchitectHLate 1970s Alterations
Item 12 of 15Alan James Clark HLate 1970s Alterations
Item 13 of 15Andrew Glen WeirArchitectHLate 1970s Alterations
Item 14 of 15Frank SprosonArchitectHLate 1970s Alterations
Item 15 of 15Wheeler & SprosonArchitectural practiceHLate 1970s Alterations


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1Deacons of Free St George's Church 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Drummond, Andrew Landale1934The Church Architecture of Protestantism Edinburgh: T & T Clarkp325
Item 2 of 4Groome, Francis H Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-85) Edinburgh, London & Glasgow: Thomas C Jack, Grange Publishing Worksvol II, p519
Item 3 of 4RIBA1981Directory of Practices 1981   
Item 4 of 4RSA1868   162 (Castle Terrace design), 118 Shandwick Place and Stafford Street as executed)

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder24 February 1868XXVI  
Item 2 of 5Builder27 May 1876XXXIV Obituary of David Bryce
Item 3 of 5Builder23 April 1881XL  
Item 4 of 5Builder7 January 1882XLII  
Item 5 of 5Building News30 December 1881  p887-899 Notes from Edinburgh

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 5Edinburgh University LibraryAnderson Collection (Plans and drawings) Perspective of tower (undated)
Item 2 of 5Free St George's ChurchDeacons' Court Minute Books vol 2 (1855-72) and vol 3 (1872-96)
Item 3 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register27367 
Item 4 of 5National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDick Peddie and McKay Collection Ten sheets of scale drawings. Also DPM 1920/162
Item 5 of 5RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Thomas Rollo Walker Mossman: L v10 no586 (microfilm reel 32)


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© All rights reserved.  

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© All rights reserved.