Wemyss Parish Church (former)

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 33660 96760, map


Address

Main Road, East Wemyss
East Wemyss
Fife
Scotland

Also known as:

  • St. George's Parish Church
  • East Wemyss Parish Church

Introduction

This cruciform church with aisles was constructed in 1936-7 and replaced the former St. George's Parish Church which has now been demolished (site 10489).    This church was united with St Adrian’s on 12 August 1973, and with St. Mary's By the Sea in West Wemyss (site 4627) in 1976.    In the early 1980s St Adrian’s, St Mary’s, and St Georges formed a union as Wemyss Parish Church.   Then in 2008 Buckhaven and Wemyss united as the Parish of Buckhaven and Wemyss, and this church was closed.    (Worship in Wemyss continues in St Adrian’s (site 8060).

The church faces south-east beside a road in a grassy precinct,  surrounded by a low harled coped wall to the east and a redbrick wall to the south and west.  There is a tower on the south east corner.   Entrance to the complex is by a low iron gate with red ashlar sandstone gatepiers in the harled wall at the front.   A church hall and offices are to the rear, and houses surround  the complex to the west, north, and east.


Description (exterior)

The church is constructed from red Dumfriesshire sandstone and partially covered in pebbledash. The windows and door margins are also red ahlar sandstone.   The roof is of slate.  

The eastern elevation is in two stages.   The lower stage is of ashlar masonry whilst the upper stage is of hammer dressed coursed sandstone blocks.    In the lower stage there are steps leading up to a doorway with hood moulding above, flanked on each side by two small windows, with plain geometric panes with coloured margins.    In the upper stage there is a large five light window with Y-tracery.   The central bay is flanked on its northern side by a buttress and to the north of this is an aisle approximately half the height of the central bay.    There is a window in the aisle in line with those in the central bay.     The gable head has an arrowslit.    The square tower is on the southern side of the central bay.  

The central nave has a lower separate roof aisle projecting from it. The lower stage of this aisle is of red ashlar sandstone whilst the upper stage has been covered in pebbledash.    This aisle is divided into three bays by two buttresses and in each bay there is a window.    Above the aisle the nave is also divided into three bays with two windows in each bay.    To the west of the aisle and nave is a transept which is also covered in pebbledash with a red ashlar lower course.   The southern face of the transept is flanked by buttresses and has a tripartite lancet window, the central section of which is raised.    Above the window is a square plaque with the date 1843.    In the gablehead there is an arrowslit.    The eastern face of the transept has a single lancet window.    The westernmost end of the elevation is obscured by the extensions which project from here and join the church to the hall.  Below the gablehead a separately roofed pentagonal chancel projects from the nave.    In the westernmost face of the chancel there is a tripartite lancet, the central one of which is raised.


The northern elevation mirrors the southern elevation with the exception that, at the eastern end of the face, there is a door in the aisle (in place of the tower) which  is reached via a small flight of steps, has red ashlar surrounds with gablet detail.

The tower has angled buttresses on the corners and  a single square headed window on each of the eastern and southern elevations;   the one on the eastern elevation is higher than that on the south.    At the top of the lower stage there is a louvred window on the eastern and southern sides.    The upper stage of the tower, which is slightly set back from the lower stage, is covered with a flat roof.   On the northeast buttress there is a date stone marked 30th May 1936.

The church hall at the rear of the church is orientated north-south.


Description (interior)

The church consists of a nave, with two narrow colonnaded aisles on the south east and north west of the main body of the nave, and two transepts, one on the south-east and one on the north-west at the northern end of the church, on either side of a central chancel.   The northeast transept housed the organ console, the organ itself being in a gallery to the south east.   In the centre of this gallery is a large three lancet window of plain glass.   A stained glass window in the northwest transept is a memorial to the Revd. Reid, the minister who presided over the building of the church.    A narrow vestibule at the southeast of the church houses war memorials to the dead of both world wars, a cradle roll, and the Knight memorial to another minister.   Except for the wooden pulpit the furnishings have been removed, and some of them are in St Adrian's (site 8060).


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Church of ScotlandDenomination1937-NOW
Mr Peter SinclairArchitect1936-1937

Events:

  • Church: Build/construction (1936 to 1937)
    Church cost £9,000 to build.
  • Church: Consecration (1937/12/18)
    Church and halls dedicated.

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M023055
Scran - Online databaseReference: 8059
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 8059Frank Rankin
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 92444
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 8059