Hillside Parish Church, Montrose

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 70880 60980, map


DD10 9HD


Dun and Hillside Church is the parish church for the small community of Hillside, a village on the outskirts of Montrose. It is located next to a primary school on a sloping site, which overlooks Montrose to the south.

The Victorian church is L-shaped, with a nave, porch, modern extension and a basement level with vestry and other rooms. It was built using coursed sandstone blocks with simple ashlar surrounds and corner stones (quoins). The roof is slated.

Description (exterior)

The north elevation forms the gable end of the church. Because of the steep slope it is built on, there is a basement level beneath the nave. The tall gable has a single pointed-arch window with simple trefoil tracery and a small hoodmould. Above is a round window with a trefoil light. At basement level a narrow door, with a pointed-arch window above, gives access to the vestry and kitchen area under the nave. There is a stingcourse part of the way up the gable and two cross-shaped incised carvings, which flank the door. On top of the gable apex is a small, damaged bellcote. Its bell has gone and the top section appears to be missing.


The west elevation has four pointed-arch windows at nave level. Below, at the northern end, are two rectangular case and sash windows that light the vestry.


The east elevation is built up so the nave is at ground level. There are four pointed-arch windows along the nave wall, but they are closer together than those in the west elevation. This is because they are placed between a small entrance porch at the northern end and a much larger porch or aisle at the southern end. The small porch has a pointed-arch doorway and a small finial on the apex of the gable. The larger, southern, porch has the same wallhead height as the nave and its roof joins that of the nave. There is a large open bellcote on the gable apex, capped by a pyramidal copper roof. There is a north-facing recessed pointed-arch doorway, which has a shallow hoodmould with decorative stops. A pointed-arch window is placed in the gable end of the porch and there are small corner buttresses.


The rear (south) elevation has a single, very large pointed-arch window centrally placed in the gable end. It has intersecting and trefoil tracery and a hoodmould. At gablehead level is a round window with quatrefoil tracery. A small cross finial sits on top of the gable apex. At the south-east corner is a small flat-roofed extension, which is harled and has simple rectangular windows.

Description (interior)

The interior is orientated north-south, with the sanctuary area at the north end. This consists of a raised wooden pulpit in the corner with stair access, a central carved communion table and a tall pipe organ in the west corner. The large north window with stained glass frames the sanctuary. A projector screen is mounted on the wall, reflecting 21st century worship.


The original wooden pews in the nave are still in place, divided by two aisles. However, a number of rows at the rear (south) of the church have been removed to create a meeting area. Regular coffee mornings are held here and there is also a small display area.


The plastered walls of the church are painted a number of bright colours. The nave walls are yellow, while the north end wall is purple. The ceiling is pale blue with the exposed roof beams (supported on stone corbels in the walls) picked out in white.

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7863

Bibliographic References:

www.gable-enders.co.ukWebsite about Montrose with details of local events and services, including church information.