St Ninian's Church, Brechin

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 59970 60270, map


Bank Street


Formerly a United Free Church, St Ninian's was built by William Leiper in 1875-6 in a Norman-Gothic style. The church is located on sloping ground off Bank Street and consists of nave, tower and rear hall. It was built with snecked rubble blocks, with ashlar surrounds and corner stones (quoins). St Ninian's is now a Roman Catholic Church.

Description (exterior)

The east front of the church has the most architectural features. The gabled central section is flanked by transeptal-style north and south sections. The pointed-arch doorway into the church has deep three-stage moulding. Above are two arched windows with two styles of attached columns and carved capitals. At the gablehead is a small oval ventilator. To the south of the doorway is an octagonal stair tower with slit windows, and its five stages are denoted by stringcourses. The top stage of the tower has narrow openings. The north end of the gable front features a three-stage buttress.


The south elevation has a transeptal gable at the east end, within which is a pointed-arch window with hoodmould. The nave has four pairs of tall lancet windows above a stringcourse. The north elevation mirrors that of the south.


To the rear is a centrally-placed hall structure, which is made taller by the fact that the ground falls away steeply here. It has pointed-arch windows and a door at ground level.

Description (interior)

The interior of the church is aligned east-west, with the chancel and altar at the west end (the entrance is to the east). There is a gallery at the east end, lit by the large windows in the transept gables and the east gable. The small turret at the east front has an inner spiral staircase which provides access to the gallery and also houses the church bell in the belfry stage at the top. The nave has simple fixed wooden pews and the windows of the nave have stained glass, mostly of geometric patterns of different colours.

People / Organisations:

William LeiperArchitect of the church1875-76


  • Church: Build/construction (1875 to 1876)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 22413
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4502
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NO56SE 97

Bibliographic References:

William Leiper's Churches, in 'Architect Heritage'S Green2001Vol 12, p41-44