Methil and Denbeath Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 35780 99900, map


Chemiss Road

Also known as:

  • Methilhill Church (1931)
    Became Methil and Denbeath Parish Church in c.2004 upon the closure of Denbeath Parish Church (site no. 7775) and subsequent union of congregations.


Constructed in 1931, this church lies in a grass precinct surrounded by black painted railings on the western side and red brick walls on the north and south sides. There is a church hall in the south west corner of the precinct. This church was originally known as Methilhill Church but it was renamed in 2007, becoming Methil and Denbeath Parish Church, when there was a union with the Denbeath Parish Church congregation (site no. 7775).    The parish is twinned with the Church of Scotland in Trinidad.

Description (exterior)

The lower stages of walls on the western elevation are ashlar;  the upper stages of all the walls are harled.   The roof is of slate and the roof ridges of terracotta tile

In the lower stage of the western elevation there is a two leaf pointed arched timber door with decorative wrought iron hinges.  This is reached by a small flight of stone steps.  The door is flanked on either side by bipartite square headed windows. These in turn are flanked by buttresses which extend up to the roofline.  In the outer bays there is a single square headed window.  There are angled buttresses at the outer corners of the elevation.  In the central bay of the upper stage there is a tripartite pointed arched window, the central window is raised.  Above this, in the gablehead, is a stone cross.  The central doorway and the windows in the upper stage have hoodmoulding and all the windows are covered by a wire mesh.

The northern elevation is divided into five bays, the easternmost one of which constitutes the northern transept.  The nave is divided into four bays by five buttresses.  The westernmost bay is blank whilst the other three bays are pierced by twin pointed arched windows with segmental smooth sandstone surrounds and chamfered sills.  The northern transept has angled buttresses on the corners.  On the northern elevation of the transept there is a tripartite pointed arched window, the central one of which is raised.  In the gablehead there is a blocked circular opening.  In the western elevation of the transept there is a single pointed arch window.  To the east of the transept is a lower hipped roofed bay which extends from the eastern chancel.  There is a square headed door in the northern face of this bay and barbed wire on the roof.

On the eastern elevation, a lower hipped roof chancel bay projects from the gable of the nave.  There is a tripartite painted arched window in the eastern face of the chancel, the central window is raised.  A chimney projects upwards from either side of the chancel bay.  Single storey hipped roofed bays project outwards from either side of the advanced chancel bay.  On the northern side this bay ends in line with transept but on the southern side it is slightly shorter than the transept.  There are four rectangular windows in the northern bay and three in the southern bay.  There is also a basement entrance surrounded by black painted railings in front of the southern bay.  The old Scottish slates on the roof of the northern bay have been replaced with new Spanish slates.  There is a small bell in the gablehead of the nave, above the advanced chancel bay, which is covered by a small slate roof.

In general the southern elevation mirrors the northern elevation.  However, in the westernmost bay, which is blank on the northern face, there is a pointed arched two leaf timber door with ashlar surrounds and hoodmoulding set in a buttress detail small advanced bay which is reached by a small flight of steps.  The bay at the eastern end of the face is slightly set back from the transept, whereas on the northern face these two features are in line.  There is a square headed door and small window in this bay and a ramp surrounded by a low red brick wall leads from the door to the church hall just to the east.

There is a harled white washed slate roofed hall to the south east of the church, and a lower porch extension on the southern side.

Description (interior)

This is basically a rectangular church entered by an arched door st the west end which leads into a vestibule.    Two doors in the east wall of this give entry to the worship area.    The church roof is of an ngular arched shape, plastered, and supported by timber beams.    Pairs of narrow pointed arch clear class windows on the north wall of the church provide daylight, together with a tripartite window hight on the west wall which is mainly of clear glass but has a stained glass cross in the lower part of the central light.

Two carpeted aisles separate three blocks of individual chairs which provide congregational seating.   The sanctuary, which is raised on two steps, is in an apse in the centre of the east wall.   Panelling to head height surrounds the apse and above this on the east gable is a further triartite clear glass window with pointed arches, set in light painted plaster.    A solid carved wooden communion table occupies the centre of the apse, with ministers' and elders' chairs around.    Behind these there is a framed cradle roll, a cross, and a candletick.

The pulpit is of carved wood, and stands to the south of the sanctuary dais, with a free standing wooden font beside it and theree is a wooden lectern on the north side.    Doors on either side of this apse lead to ancillary apartments.  

On the south side of the main body of the church is a panelled and glass screen which has reduced the worship area, but provided the church with an additional apartment.    Above waist-high panelling the walls are adorned with a variety of hangings and pictures.

There are two small organs oe of which sits just outside the sanctuary apse on the north side.

People / Organisations:

Church of ScotlandDenomination1931-NOW


  • Church: Build/construction (1931)
  • Hall: Build/construction (1950 uncertified)
  • Church: Repair (2007)
    Repairs to roof and guttering - the eastern extensions were reroofed with Spanish slate and the undamaged Scottish slates from here were used to repair the roof on the main body of the church. New terracotta roof ridges were also being installed.

Archive References:

CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 7776Norman Myles
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7776

Bibliographic References:

Year Book 1990Church of Scotland1990Restenneth
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 106