St. Andrew's Church of Scotland (now St. Andrew's Court)

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 23320 85730, map


Address

St Andrews Court
High Street
Burntisland
Fife
Scotland

Also known as:

  • St. Andrew's Court (1983)
    The church was converted into sheltered housing.
  • St. Andrew's Church of Scotland (1929)
    This was the final name of the church before its covertion into sheltered housing.
  • Free Church (1861)
    This was the original name of the church.
  • Couper Memorial Church

Introduction

This church was constructed in 1860-61 as the new home of the Free Church congregation who had previously worshipped in the former warehouse opposite the Parish Church (site  9476). The denomination of the church changed several times over its life, changing to the United Free church in 1900 and then to St Andrew's, Church of Scotland in 1929.    Decreasing church membership and the death of the Minister in 1976 led to its union with St Columba's to become Burntisland Parish Church (site  2183), with the first joint service being held on the 13th March 1977. The building was converted into sheltered housing in 1983 and many alterations made to the original structure.


Description

The church is built of sandstone with a slate roof.  

The north elevation provided entrance from the street.     A central bay is flanked by a small tower on the eastern side and a larger bell tower on the western side.   The central bay is slightly set back from the flanking towers and is dominated by a modern central three storey lead clad stairwell with mirrored glazing and metal frames, and other features added at the time of the conversion.  Above the door there is a large pointed arch window with modern glazing.   small uPVC window inserted into the top and bottom of the window. The sandstone surrounds in the centre of the window have been recently replaced/repaired with new blond sandstone blocks, probably when the building was converted.   The former steeply pitched roofline is visible at first floor level, suggesting that there was at some time another small building attached to the front of the main building which may have been a small porch.   There is a louvered trefoil opening in the gable head and there is a decorative cross finial on the apex of the gable.

The eastern nave wall is now only partially visible.   The northern end  is composed of the eastern side of the smaller tower. To the south of this, in the main body of the building, there is a blind two light tri-cusp opening at mid height. Further to the south there appear to be five large pointed arched windows.   

At the western nave wall, there are six large pointed arched window each of which is topped with a segmental arch. At the base of the Scottish slate roof there are four later addition dormer windows.    

Most of the southern gable of the former church building is obscured by a large three storey rectangular plan harled extension which is orientated lengthwise across the back of the building.

The  three stage tower is at the north east corner of the main building level with the gable head of the main building.   There is a re-entrant angle on the northern elevation but on the eastern face the tower is in line with the main building. The lower stage of the tower is square and has buttress detail to the front (northeast and northwest) corners. There is a square headed door in the western elevation of the tower,accessed by a ramp at the north of the building. A blind quatrefoil on the northern and eastern sides of the towers with small vents inserted.  The stonework which forms the blank quatrefoil appears to be relatively recent in comparison to the rest of the stonework around it and may therefore be a later insertion. It is possible that there was originally a glazed opening in this location, as there is a hoodmould with decorative label stops above it and a segmental arch above the hoodmould.   The square lower stage gives way to a polygonal second stage which has a lancet in the northern face.   The sides of the tower flanking the northernmost face have small quatrefoil openings with lattice panes.    The outer sides of the tower at this stage are blank. The third stage is octagonal and has a boarded up trefoil headed lancet opening in each face. There is tri-cusped peardrop decorative moulding at the top of this stage below the parapet, above which is the flat roof of the tower.

A square bell tower with spire is at the north western corner of the main building.   There is a re-entrant angle on the northern elevation but on the western face the tower is in line with the main building.   There are buttresses to the front (northeast and northwest) corners. There is evidence that there were probably cast iron railings in front of the northern face of the tower between the buttresses.   There is a blind trefoil on the northern elevation which, like the quatrefoil on the northern elevation of the eastern tower, may be a later insertion replacing an originally glazed opening, as there is a hoodmould with decorative label stops above it.   Above the blind trefoil is a date stone of 1860, and further above there is a  blind trefoil headed opening and an extended hoodmould and segmental arch above the opening.   Above the arch is a small pointed arch window with lattice panes and  above this is the string course which separates the lower section of the tower from the belfry stage.   On the western face of the tower there is a shouldered arch door above which is a lancet window.   Above this is a small pointed arch window with lattice panes, above which is the string course which separates the lower section of the tower from the belfry stage. At belfry level each elevation is the same, with tripartite louvered lancet openings and the belfry is topped with  a stone broach spire with weathervane finial.


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Church of ScotlandDenomination1929-1983
United Free ChurchDenomination1900-1929
Free ChurchDenomination1861-1900

Events:

  • Church: Build/construction (1860 to 1861)
    The church opened 1st September 1861
  • Tower: Build/construction (1860 to 1861)
  • Tower: Build/construction (1860 to 1861)
  • Church: New Denomination (1900)
    The Free Church joined with the United Presbyterian to form the United Free Church
  • Church: New Denomination (1929)
    This United Free Church rejoined the Church of Scotland
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1983)
    Converted into sheltered housing

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M024447
Scran - Online databaseReference: 2184
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 2184

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Burntisland Online - www.burntisland.netSommerville, I.2001www.burntisland.net