Holy Trinity Catholic Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 61080 07480, map


Address

Westgate
Crail
Fife
KY10 3RF
Scotland

Also known as:

  • Crail West United Free Church (1900)
    Following the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterian Church in 1900, the church became United Free.
  • Crail United Presbyterian Church (1859)
    The Burgher Church at Crail joined the United Presbyterian Church in 1847.
  • Most Holy Trinity
  • Church of the Blessed Trinity
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Church
    Present name.

Introduction

This church was built as a United Presbyterian Church in 1859. It replaced an earlier place of worship (a Burgher Church, site 10539), which had been in use since 1797 and was probably on the same site. Holy Trinity is on the southern edge of Crail, on the corner of Lamond Terrace and Westgate North. The building sits in landscaped grounds behind a coped wall, raised up slightly from street level. To the north of the building is the manse, and a residential area.


Description (exterior)

The church is built from coursed sandstone on its principal elevation and sandstone rubble elsewhere, with a slate roof.

The church is cruciform and oriented north-south. The south elevation is the principal elevation of the church. It is supported by clasping buttresses to the east and west. It is entered though a door under a four centred arch with a simple hoodmould. Above this is a window in a pointed arch with a simple hoodmould with cusped tracery. Below the apex of the gable is quatrefoil within a rounded opening which is blocked. The gable is capped by a wheelheaded cross, the middle of which is missing.

The east and west elevations have two lancet windows with frosted glass. There is a small, square-headed door towards the southern edge of the west face. Transepts project from the east and west nave walls.

The west elevation of the west transept is supported to the north and south by clasping buttresses and is capped by a three-leaved finial. Below this is a latticed, oval opening, with is louvered, with a hoodmould. There is also a lancet window with frosted glass. To the south is another such window.

The east elevation of the east transept is supported to the north and south by clasping buttresses and is capped by a three-leaved finial. Below this is a latticed, oval light with a hoodmould and a lancet window with frosted glass. To the south is another such window.

Behind the church is a sandstone rubble vestry with an M-shaped, Scottish slate roof. To the west is a square-headed door and window with frosted glass. To the east are a pair of cusped lights, also with frosted glass. The north elevation of the building was not accessible due to the proximity of the adjacent property.


Description (interior)

The nave is entered though a porch, which is not discernable from the exterior having been constructed in the nave itself. The porch is painted  and has angelic stoops next to the entrance to the porch and the nave. The nave is painted and carpeted. Its pews face towards the altar, which is situated on the north wall between two arched doors. The altar is approached up shallow steps to a T shaped platform. To the west of the platform is a reading desk. There are low railings to the east and west of the altar.  Behind this is a wooden reredos with tracery detailing. Central to the altar arrangement is a crucifix and a tabernacle.   The altar is in front of a blocked doorway, which has been painted over. On either side of the altar are two more doors leading to the building behind. The east door has a small bell next to it and may lead to a confessional box. Around the walls of the nave and the transepts are the fourteen Stations of the Cross.

The east and west transepts slope upwards from the altar. Both are pewed. The west transept has a side altar.   In front of this is a wrought iron candle-stand and two kneeling cushions.


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
United Free ChurchDenomination1900-1929Following the union of the United Presbyterian and Free Churches, the church became Crail West United Free Church.
Roman CatholicDenomination1942-NOWIn 1942 Polish soldiers stationed at Crail helped the Diocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh purchase the disused church.
Reverend R DrummondClergyman1830CAfter leaving Crail United Presbyterian, Reverend Drummond became the first Presbyterian minister in Southern Australia.
United PresbyteriansDenomination1859-1900The church was built as a United Presbyterian church in 1859, some years after Crail Burgher Church became part of the United Presbyterian Church.

Events:

  • Church: Build/construction (1859)
    The church was built in 1859 as a United Presbyterian Church. This church replaced an earlier United Presbyterian Church, site number: 10539, (originally a Burgher Church) which had been located on this site.
  • Transept: Build/construction (1859)
  • Transept: Build/construction (1859)
  • Vestry: Build/construction (1859)
  • Church: Union (1900)
    In 1900 The United Presbyterians and the Free Church joined and the church became Crail West United Free Church.
  • Church: Union (1907)
    In 1907 Crail West and Crail North joined and the church went out of use.
  • Church: New Denomination (1942)
    In 1942 Polish soldiers stationed at Crail helped the Diocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh purchase the disused church.

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 6632
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 6632Research compiled by D. Gerrard (2005).

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 134