Melville South Church, Montrose

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 71270 57500, map


Castle Street
DD10 8AQ


Melville South Church was built in 1861 and was originally a Free Church called St Paul's. It later became South Church and when it became Church of Scotland in 1929 it became Melville South. It is built in a town street close to the historic town centre of Montrose. The church has Gothic features such as pointed-arch windows, and the layout of the church is quite complex, with an asymmetrical plan and a tower in the south-west tower.

Description (exterior)

The west elevation has a large square tower in the south-west corner. The entrance into the church is through a hoodmoulded, pointed-arch doorway in the tower. There is pointed-arch window above with trefoil tracery. To the north of the tower is a large gable end with rectangular windows at ground level and a circular window above set in a pointed-arch opening. Alongside this gable is a small lean-to structure or aisle used as kitchen and toilets. The walls of the front elevation are built in ashlar masonry.


The entrance tower is at the western end of the south elevation. There are square windows with tracery and an offset doorway. There is a gable end further to the east of the elevation with a pointed-arch window. There is also a lean-to aisle or extension and a smaller gable end. To the rear of the church (east) are a number of modern  harled concrete halls attached.


The north elevation is similar to that of the south, with a lean-to section, gable end with pointed-arch window and smaller gable end with no windows. To the east are modern attached halls. The walls of the south and north elevations are built in coursed sandstone blocks and rubble.


The east (rear) elevation of the church overlooks a residential area with flats and car parking space. There are two large modern concrete and harled halls attached to each other which mask the original gable end of the church.

Description (interior)

The interior has a large nave with small side aisles, divided from the nave by arcading. There is a wooden panelled gallery at the west end and the pews of the nave face the chancel at the east end. The chancel is raised up from the nave and narrower, with a large chancel arch separating the nave and chancel.


The roof structure of the church is exposed and the church furniture, including pews, communion table and pulpit are wooden with simple carving. Entrance to the large hall complex is through a doorway in the south-east corner of the nave.


There is a vestibule area at the western end with a wood and glass wall separating the vestibule from the nave. This internal wall has stained glass panels made by members of the congregation.



  • Church: Build/construction (1859)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 46175
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NO75NW 291
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7867