Methil Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 36990 99500, map


Address

Wellesley Road
Methil
Fife
Scotland

Also known as:

  • Wellesley Parish Church, Methil (2012)

Introduction

This cruciform Romanesque church was constructed in 1924-5 by Reginald Fairlie on a site gifted by the Wemyss Family. It superseded the original parish church which was situated between High Street and Station Road (site no. 10471). It sits in a large grassy precinct, separated from the road on its northern side by a low coped wall composed of large sandstone blocks which is pierced in two places by iron gates. There is a church hall to the west of the church with a tarmac path leading up to the entrance.   This church is now known as Wellesley Parish Church of Scotland, Methil, since it was incorporated in  a union with Innerleven East Church.    A Service of Union and Introduction was held on Thursday 28th June 2012.


Description

 

The church is built of coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings and a Scottish slate roof.    The building has a nave and aisle.    In the upper part of the western elevation there are three round arch windows flanked by columns with ashlar surrounds. There is an arrowslit in the gablehead. On the southern side of the nave is the porch which has a single round arched window in its upper western face, and there is also a small rectangular opening at the base, which may be a later insertion. On the northern side of the nave there is a tower.

The chancel is at the eastern end of the northern face, with two tripartite windows at clerestorey level. To the west of this, a northern transept extends from the face of the church building.

The transept has three stained glass round arched windows in its northern face and an arrowslit in the gable head. The face is flanked by buttresses. On the return to the west and east there are tripartite windows at clerestory level. On the eastern face there is also a door set in a round arched frame which is set in a small slightly advanced porch.

To the west of the transept is the nave. This has two tripartite windows set above a slightly advanced lower stage with a slate roof. In the lower stage there is a five light cloistered window and a wooden door.

The tower is situated to the west of this and beyond this on the face of the church is a single round headed opening at ground floor level and further smaller round headed openings at clerestorey level. The base of the
eastern elevation is constructed from coursed sandstone blocks whilst the rest of it is constructed from roughly coursed squared rubble. There are two full height buttresses set back from the centre of the face with a carved panel at the top of each. The northern panel has the date 1925 carved on it. In the gable head there is a blind five light arcaded opening.   On the south side, the chancel and transept mirror the northern elevation.

In the nave there are four round arched windows with ashlar surrounds. The eastern two of these have stained glass whilst the western two have plain square quarries. At the western end of the face is the porch, which has a single round arched window below the pyramid slate roof and there is also a small rectangular opening at the base. A chimney runs down the face where the porch and the nave join and projects above the height of the roof.

Situated at the north west corner of the church is a two stage square-plan bell tower. On its northern elvation  there is a square headed window in a round arched surround. Above this on the eastern side is another square headed window with ashlar surrounds. In the belfry stage there are three louvred arrowslits in each face. The tower is topped by a finialled pyramid slate roof. Additionally, on the western side is a small conical tower, which itself adjoins the nave through a low porch on its southern side. This smaller tower is roofed in slate and has a glazed arrowslit just below the eaves on the western side.

A church hall has been added to the west of the church.

 


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Church of ScotlandDenomination1925-NOW
Mr Reginald Francis Joseph FairlieArchitect1924-1925Building of the church.

Events:

  • Church: Build/construction (1924 to 1925)
  • Tower: Build/construction (1924 to 1925)
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1950)
    Minor alterations to the cloister in the 1950s.

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 22712
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M004848
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 93697
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4639

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 106