St Mary Magdalene Church, Blinshall Street, Dundee

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 39630 30250, map


11 Blinshall Street

Also known as:

  • Avertical World


This former Episcopal church has an east-west orientation on sloping ground at the south end of Blinshall Street. Its immediate curtilage is marked by a high stone wall. The surrounding area is re-used jute industry buildings. However, the church itself is surrounded by recently constructed halls of residence, the height of which dwarf the church. K. Nichols

Description (exterior)

This church was built as an Episcopal mission to the nearby mills of Blackness by Bishop Alexander Penrose Forbes. At one time this was the heart of the largest Episcopal congregation in Scotland. The church is entered through a round-arched doorway on the west gable. It's posts have been painted white and stand out against the bare stone of the rest of the building. The double doors are wooden and open to a small tiled entrance that has a modern door and walls set at an angle. Above the doorway is a traceried round-arched window. The gable is topped by a large open bellcote with cross. On the southwest side of the entrance is a hexagonal tower, set so far forward that it looks seperated. This is topped by a pointed spire. 

J. Dowling and K. Nichols

Description (interior)

The interior features a nave with only one aisle to the north side, timber beam ceiling, expensive Caen stone dressings, a tiled reredos by William Butterfield and stencilling which survives beneath the whitewash. When in use the schoolrooms were in the basement. When the church was relocated to Dudhope the War Memorial items were relocated also.

The building was later used as a house removal warehouse and then an auction house with storage. Since 2002 Avertical World have used the premises for those wishing to practice climbing skills. The sanctuary and aisles have been fully utilised and segregated with large walls occupying the empty nave. Strong lights and dark areas hide the original features of the church.


  • Church: Build/construction (1853)
    People: Coe & Goodwin