Baptist Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 50720 16550, map


South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9EQ


This Baptist church was built in 1842 and the congregation moved there from the Congregationalist Church in Market Street that October. It is rectangular on plan and occupies quite a narrow site, between Rose Lane on the west and Madras College on the east. Its Tudor-Gothic style frontage was added in 1901-2 by Gillespie and Scott.

Description (exterior)

The Baptist Chapel, which opened on the 13th October 1842, was founded by 8 members of the Congregationalist church on Market Street (10674). Before this the Baptists met at site 10461. The leader of the group appears to have been William Stobie. The chapel, created from a building purchased from Lt. Colonel William Davidson Playfair, came to a total cost of £600. It was situated on the first floor of the building over shops and residences. In 1861 the house and Garden attached to the chapel were sold to the trustees of Madras College. 

In 1899 the architect Mr Gillespie presented the congregation with plans for a new chapel, which was completed in July 1902 at the cost of £1600, replacing the old building.

This building on the south side of South Street, remains the same today, apart from minor alterations such as the addition of double glazing. It is rectangular, on two levels and is of ashlar masonry, with dressings in the same sandstone and a slate roof. The frontage features a two-tier five light window with round heads and stone mullions. In the central section is a sandstone panel.  Over this window, which is recessed, is a hoodmould. To the right is a small similar styled window, while on the left is a two-tier window.To the left of the entrance is a rectangular window. All the windows feature small square glass panes. The entrance, with a hoodmould, and a two-panel door, is set in a porch.

 The visible west side wall, onto Rose Lane, is in irregular coursed sandstone; it has various small doorways and rectangular windows. To the south the rear gable of the church has a circular stained glass window.

During the 20th century the Baptist church held services in several outdoor locations, including at Martyrs monument, until 1908 and Kinnesburn park until 1923. 

From 2008 to the present (2013) the Baptist Church has used Madras-Kilrymont for the Sunday morning services. 
In 1974, 2 Rose Lane was purchased for the church and opened in 1974 as a community outreach centre

Description (interior)

The interior is light and airy with wooden pews, and a central aisle.

The stained glass, which depicts Christ in the company of children, was added in 1954 in remembrance of Laurence Scollay, pastor 1943-1952.

Services take place on the first floor of the building;   including the balcony on the north side it seats 266 people.   The communion table and chairs now in use, situated on an elevated stage at the south end of the building, were presented to the church by Mrs. Katie Anderson in memory of her husband, Alex Anderson, who was church treasurer 1915-1928 and secretary 1928-1949.   The table and chairs are wooden, with 'This do in remembrance of me' carved into the front.   There is also a wooden lectern in front of the table.    On the west side of the stage is a wooden pulpit with a simple carved cross, and in front of the communion table is a lectern.   On the left is seating for a praise band and their instruments.

Hanging above the communion table is a lamp, in memory of R.F.Conway, pastor 1930-1934.    This previously hung above the pulpit.   In 1956 the tiled baptistery was replaced by a galvanised iron tank.

People / Organisations:

Gillespie and ScottArchitect1901-1902architects.


  • Church: Build/construction (1842)
  • Church: Addition (1901 to 1902)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 40707
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4718
Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-108-884-CImage and research: Abby Hunt.

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988Page: 379
The St Andrews of Jo GrimondGrimond, Lord J.1992Page:69.
Something Very Fine: A history of St Andrews Baptist Church 1841 - 1991Docherty, Ian G.1991Page: 1 - 72