Basic Site Details

Name: Culross Abbey Church
Town, district or village: Culross
City or county: Fife
Country: Scotland
Status: A listed
Grid ref:
Notes: Culross was originally a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1217 by Malcolm, the Seventh Earl of Fife. Considerable portions of the building still remain. The church itself, however, has passed through numerous vicissitudes and appears to have been altered and adapted at so many different periods that it is difficult to form any definite opinion of its original appearance. Previous to the beginning of last century, it appears largely to have fallen into decay and to have been "restored" in the style then so prevalent, when galleries were introduced, the walls and ceilings lathed and plastered, and new windows formed, with a total disregard to the evidences of the existing work. In the restoration which has just been completed the whole of the modern renovation has been cleared out, and the building reinstated in accordance with the evidences of the old work. The floor of the church has been lowered to its original level, and an entirely new roof erected. The interior of the walls, which are of scabbled ashlar, have again been exposed, along with all the moulded and ornamental work, and the old windows, etc . traces of which were found, have been repaired. The south transept aisle, which had at some period been demolished, has been re-built upon the old foundations. During the work considerable remains of the early monastic buildings, hitherto unknown, have been excavated, and ground on the south side of the church cleared away, exposing the original basis of the building at a considerable depth below the level of the ground, which had at some period been made up, probably being used as a depository for the excavations from the foundations of the adjoining Abbey House. The work has been carried out under the direction of Messrs Sir Rowand Anderson, LL.D, and Paul, architects, Edinburgh. [Building News 18 January 1907 p95]

Building Type Classification

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


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 61823  Extensive repairs
Item 2 of 61869  Repairs to roof and session house
Item 3 of 61878  Repairs to vaulting and roof
Item 4 of 619021905 Plans prepared for restoration
Item 5 of 619051906 Restoration and new organ case
Item 6 of 61923  Alterations to 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 11William Stirling IArchitectB1824 Extensive repairs
Item 2 of 11William Stirling IIArchitectB1824 Extensive repairs
Item 3 of 11George HalleyArchitectC1869 Repairs to roof and session house
Item 4 of 11George HalleyArchitectD1878 Repairs to vaulting and roof
Item 5 of 11(Sir) Robert Rowand AndersonArchitectE19021906Restoration
Item 6 of 11Arthur Forman Balfour PaulArchitectE19031906Restoration
Item 7 of 11James GillespieArchitectE19031906Restoration - as chief assistant to Rowand Anderson & Paul
Item 8 of 11Rowand Anderson & PaulArchitectural practiceE19031906Restoration
Item 9 of 11Peter Macgregor ChalmersArchitectE1905 Restoration - apparently completing restoration begun by R R Anderson. Also new organ case (executed by Mackay & Co)
Item 10 of 11Arthur Forman Balfour PaulArchitectF1923 Alterations to pulpit
Item 11 of 11Rowand Anderson & PaulArchitectural practiceF1923 Alterations to pulpit - Paul responsible


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 3Cunningham, Andrew S1910Culross: past and present Levenp 19
Item 2 of 3Gifford, John1988Fife (The Buildings of Scotland)  pp 146-151
Item 3 of 3Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp25

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4British Architect17 April 1903  p274 - Cost 5,000
Item 2 of 4Builder1903LXXXIV p 257
Item 3 of 4Builder1 December 1906XCI p 637
Item 4 of 4Building News18 January 1907XCII p 95

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register23960 
Item 2 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Heritors Records HR158/1: 22 January 1869; HR 158/2: 14 October 1878, 24 May 1902, 27 July 1902, 12 February 1904, 5 April 1905, 26 July 1923 etc.
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers James Gillespie: L v17 no1289