Basic Site Details

Name: Forfar Parish Church
Town, district or village: Forfar
City or county: Angus
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: O.S.A. v 6 p. 523-534
N.S.A. v. 11 p. 701
Hay, Post Ref. Chs. 82, 164, 175, 222, 232
Heritors' Records

HS list description:
Samuel Bell 1790-1, originally plain gothick rectangle with 4-window S. flank, coursed rubble; ashlar classic W. spire 150' high with Roman doric pedimented doorpiece and gothick openings at upper levels executed by Patrick Brown from
Bell's design, 1813-14. Additions and alterations James Brewster 1836 and again John Carver 1881, N. aisle added.

Gifford: 'Both an inscription on the church and 'The Scots Magazine' for 1814 record that Patrick Brown of Lochee (in Dundee) was the architect for this work. However in 1790 Samuel Brown had been asked to inspect the old steeple and receive instructions for construction of a replacement and the steeple built in 1813-14 is to an unexecuted design by Bell for the steeple of St Rule's Church at Monifieth. Probably Brown was the executant architect or contractor rather than the designer.'

Woodwork of organ case designed by Langlands and carved by Alexander Bain.

Colvin: In January 1788 John Gibson 'architect of St Cyrus' was invited to design a church but in March a plan submitted by James Millar, mason of Bridgeton was approved 'and recommended to Mr Samuel Bell Architect in Dundee to make out the dimensaions for every part of the work'. In 1790 Bell was invited to inspect the old steepl and to receive insyructionsfor the new one. Nothing, however, was done until 1813, when the Town Council 'advertised for contractors for the new steeple to be built to the plans of the late Samuel Bell'. Although the existing steeple bears the name 'Patricj Bell Architect', the design is identical with one of Bell's drawings for the steeple of Monifieth Church, and Brown must only have been the executant.

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1Forfar East and Old Parish Church  

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 1East High Street  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 617901791 Original church
Item 2 of 618131814Build/constructionBell Tower
Item 3 of 61836 Alterations and additions 
Item 4 of 61881 AdditionAdditions and alterations - including session room
Item 5 of 61900 Build/constructionPews and pulpit
Item 6 of 619111912AdditionHall added


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 8James MillarMasonJ1780s Provided plan for church
Item 2 of 8Samuel BellArchitectB17881791Based on plan by James Millar, mason, Bridgeton
Item 3 of 8Patrick BrownBuilderA18131814Perhaps acted as executant architect for Bell Tower
Item 4 of 8James BrewsterArchitectF1836 Alterations and additions
Item 5 of 8John CarverArchitectC1881 Additions and alterations, including session room
Item 6 of 8James Hendry Langlands (senior)ArchitectD18981899Alterations
Item 7 of 8Robert BlackadderArchitectE1900 Pews and pulpit
Item 8 of 8Alexander P RoughArchitect, Builder, SurveyorJ19111912Hall added


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Adam, D T1967Review of the Administration of the Town's Affairs by Successive Town Councils between 1660 and 1965 Forfar.pp29-30
Item 2 of 4Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th edition 
Item 3 of 4Gifford, John2012The Buildings of Scotland: Angus and Dundee Yalep467-9
Item 4 of 4Hay, George1957The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches 1560-1843 Oxford: Clarendon Press 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Dundee Advertiser14 May 1813   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register31479 
Item 2 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Heritors RecordsHR 415/3 
Item 3 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Register House PlansRHP 7929-32Tracings of drawings of the church made by Bell in 1795.