Gardner Memorial Church, Brechin

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 60050 60560, map


St Ninian's Square and Damacre Road


This church was built after the Rev. Andrew Gardner left some £7000 towards the building of a new church in Brechin when he died in 1894. A further £7000 was donated by the Milnes of Mooranbank and Sir John James Burnet was appointed as architect. It was completed by 1900. The church occupies a corner site with the church aligned east-west and an adjoining hall complex at right angles. To the north and west is an open courtyard and garden.

JD 2011

Description (exterior)

Gardner Memorial Church was constructed with snecked rubble blocks and red Dumfries sandstone dressings and surrounds. The roofs of the church, halls and vestibule are slated.

The south-east corner of the church complex is dominated by its sturdy, squat three-stage tower. It has large round-arched belfry openings and windows and a corbelled, ballustraded parapet. The belfry openings have attached columns and capitals. A small pyramid spire sits on top of the tower. Attached tot he north-east is a small apsidal stair tower with single lancet windows on each face.


The nave of the church is attached to the tower described above, with a pinnacled buttress inbetween. The nave is four-bay, with the western-most bay the sanctuary area. There are pairs of lancet windows in each bay with chamfered ashlar surrounds. The northern side aisle is nearly the same height as the nave and its wall largely mirrors that of the nave. The roofs of the nave and aisle have bracketted, broad eaves, which overhang the walls.


To the north-east of the church and tower is a long, low hall with a gateway through to the rear gardens. The gate is cast iron and an art-nouveau design. There is a vestibule area, which gives entry to the church, hall and church office. The hall has small, rectangular windows, while the office has three lancet windows in its gable.


To the north-west is a cloister-like garden, with brick-built raised flower beds and an open-sided walkway linking the vestibule and the church.

JD 2011

Description (interior)

The interior of the church nave is distinctive with its low, open-timber collar-braced roofs and round-arched arcade, supported on round columns. The sanctuary at the west end of the nave has a rood screen feature and simple stained glass. The organ is positioned at the west end of the side aisle. The interior features a lot of carved wood and stone, and the doors are decorated with tooled leather and are very striking. 

JD 2011


  • Church: Build/construction (1896 to 1900)
    People: Sir J J Burnet

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: NO66SW 40:00Site information and digital and print photographs
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 22568A-listed
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4507