Hope Park and Martyrs Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 50530 16730, map


Market Street
St Andrews
KY16 9XB

Also known as:

  • Hope Park Church of Scotland (1929)
    When the United Free Church of Scotland joined with the Church of Scotland in 1929, the church became known by this name.
  • Hope Park United Free Church (1900)
    When the Free Church of Scotland and United Presbyterian Church of Scotland formed the United Free Church of Scotland in 1900, the church became known by this name.
  • Hope Park United Presbyterian Church (1865)
    The church was built as a United Presbyterian Church.


Hope Park Church was built in 1864-5 and designed by architects Peddie and Kinnear. The church is located on a prominent corner site close to the town centre and its tower and spire can be seen from most areas of the town. The church was originally a United Presbyterian Church but became Church of Scotland in 1929. It was united with Martyrs Church in 2010 and is now known as Hope Park and Martyrs Church.

Description (exterior)

The church is built of sandstone with hammer-dressed walls in an early-geometric style. It has large double gables on the south, with rose windows , and painted surrounds. The roof is of slate.

The nave is aligned east-west; its western gable features a large rose window. At the centre of the southern face is an apse with stained glass windows. On the easternmost roof there is a small slated bellcote and at the north-west corner is a small spired tower.

On the north and south elevations each gable has three stained glass windows with hood moulds, above which are rose windows with a central quatrefoil light and twelve smaller circular lights. In the west gable there is a triangular window with a central multifoil light surrounded by many smaller quatrefoil and circular lights.

The two stage tower is on the south-west, and has a steep slated spire with small corner spirelets. The upper stage of the tower has pairs of large round-arch belfry openings on each face, while the lower stage has small slit windows. At the east end of the church is a hall complex, which was added in 1900.

Description (interior)

This large Victorian church is rectangular in shape, and is entered by a porch in the south west corner. The central part of the nave is wider than the east and west ends of the church. Waist-high wooden panelling surrounds the church, above which the walls are painted to maximise the light.   The internal roof is pitched. There are windows at two levels, the lower ones being mainly of clear glass with some stained glass inserts, while the upper ones are rounded and filled with decorative stained glass.  

Doors at the north east and south east corners of the sanctuary lead to the remainder of the complex, including a large hall. Blocks of wooden pews in the nave have north and south carpeted aisles. Galleries supported by pillars run round the north, west and south sides of the church, and an organ occupies part of the west gallery.

The sanctuary at the east end is dominated by a white painted pulpit with an open balustrade stair to the south, and an elaborate high carved canopy, all below one of the rounded stained glass windows. In front of the pulpit are carved wooden oficiants' chairs, and a communion table which was one of the items brought from Martyrs Church at the time of the union in 2010. Elders' chairs are grouped round the pulpit, set against the panelled walls, and the sanctuary furnishings are completed by a tall wooden lectern to the south of the communion table and a carved wooden pedestal font to the north.

Many of the items of furniture have been memorial gifts, either from the original Hope Park church or from Martyrs Church, and these bear brass dedication plaques. There are also war memorials and rolls of honour from both churches.

People / Organisations:

United PresbyteriansDenomination1865-1900
Peddie and KinnearArchitect1864-1865Built church.
Church of ScotlandDenomination1929-NOW
Gillespie and ScottArchitectarchitects. Additions to church.
United Free ChurchDenomination1900-1929


  • Church: Build/construction (1864 to 1865)
    Church built.
  • Tower: Build/construction (1864 to 1865)
  • Stained Glass: Installed (1864 to 1865)
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (2002)
    Alteration of boundary wall and ramp.
  • Church: Addition (c1900)
    Addition of hall to church.
  • Hall: Build/construction (c1900)
    The hall was added to church by Gillespie and Scott.

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 175201
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 40752
Records of St Andrews Hope Park burgher church, United Presbyterian...Reference: GB 227 CH3/1584
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4720

Bibliographic References:

St Andrews:City by the Northern SeaLamont-Brown, R.2006Page:165-171.
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988Page: 383.
1000 Churches to Visit in Scotland, Year 2006/2007 editionScotland\'s Churches Scheme2006Illustrations Copyright: John R Hume,2005.
Maps Copyright: Jim Lewis, 2005. Page: 230.