Dundee Congregational Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 40018 30410, map


Address

6-8 Constitution Road
Dundee
DD1 1LY
Scotland

Also known as:

  • Ward Chapel (1833)

Introduction

This Church is situated on the northern boundary of Dundee’s city centre. It was designed by James Brewster of Montrose and opened in 1833 as Ward Chapel at a cost of £2810, a huge amount of money for a congregation to raise at that time. Two congregations had amalgamated in 1810: West Port Chapel/The Temple and The Tabernacle and new premises were required. Since 1833 a number of Congregational Churches have merged with Ward Chapel. Ireland & Maclaren built a lower chancel and schoolroom in the west in 1880; it is now used as the Church Hall. From 1984 the church has been known as the Dundee Congregational Church.


Description (exterior)

The Church is in a gothic style with a large pointed window on its eastern wall flanked by two buttresses each side, with empty statue niches. The buttresses at the top are elaborately carved with a foliage design. Similarly in the centre of the pointed roof is a highly carved finial. The east window features quatrefoil and rosette tracery with a hood mould ending in carved faces. There is a door at each end of this eastern wall with two simpler arched windows above. The doors also have a hood mould but these are finished with a simple point. The brick used on this eastern elevation is uniform, large and smooth, and has been painted white. The brickwork used on the north and south wall and the rear of the church is much smaller, unpainted, with larger stone used for the window dressing. Along the north and south walls are three simple arched windows with Y tracery. In the centre of the roof is a row of sky lights.


Description (interior)

In the immediate entrance area there is a Welcome Hall created in 2003 after pews from this area were removed. The Church is bright with lots of natural light coming in through the stained glass windows along the north and south wall and through the skylights along the roof. The sanctuary and pulpit are located in the West with an organ above it on the wooden balcony. The Pulpit was made by John Burnet, 1850 and the current organ by John R. Miller, Dundee in 1929. Three slim pillars support the balcony on each side of the building. In the north-west corner is a modern piano with a Prayer Corner opposite it in the south-west corner.

Along the walls on the ground floor are World War I memorials from the various Congregational Churches in and around Dundee that have amalgamated and moved to this building. There are also plaques for long standing Ministers. The stained glass is simple with coloured glass around the edge in a floral, leaf and quatrefoil pattern. There is no Biblical imagery. All of the windows have been interrupted by the balcony, which was added later. Access to the balcony is gained through stairways in the north-east and south-east corners. The pews are very simple; some on the ground floor have communion cup holders in front with umbrella stands attached to the side. In the balcony just in front of the eastern window pews there is a small corner seat traditionally used by the poor.

To the west of the church, through a door behind the pulpit, is the Church Hall and a separate, very simple, Mini Chapel used for services for small groups.


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
James BrewsterArchitect1833James Brewster from Montrose. Church cost £2810 to build.
Ireland & MaclarenArchitects1880Architects who built a lower chancel and schoolroom in the west of the building.

Events:

  • Church: Founded (1833)

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
SCHRReference: 6273
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 184702
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 25107

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
The Buildings of Scotland: Dundee and AngusGifford, John2014Pgs. 92-3
http://www.dundeecongregationalchurch.org.ukWebsite