The Anstruther Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 56430 03520, map


Address

Hew Scott Hall
High Street
Anstruther
Fife
KY10 3RA
Scotland

Also known as:

  • Dreel Halls (2014)
  • St. Adrian's Church Hall (1970)
    In 1961 Anstruther Wester united with Anstruther Easter and the church became a hall shortly afterwards.
  • Hew Scott Hall (1970)
    The church hall is also known as Hew Scott Hall.
  • St. Nicholas' Church (1243)
    The church was consecrated in 1243.
  • Anstruther Wester Parish Church (1243)
    The church was built as a parish church.

Introduction

Anstruther Wester Parish Church is on the western edge of the village of Anstruther in a graveyard which is bounded by a stream and a beach. In 1243, a church on this site was dedicated to St. Nicholas. The present structure consists of a sixteenth century tower and steeple and a mid nineteenth century main cell, which probably incorporates fabric from the medieval church.  The graveyard surrounds the church to the north, south and east. It contains a number of 17th century memorials. There are earthworks in the churchyard which mark the outline of the old church building.   Near the church is a medieval coffin and an early 17th century graveslab with memento mori symbols.   It is used as a public hall and has recently undergone extensive renovation.
It is in the care of the Anstruther Preservation Society, and is now known as the Dreel Halls


Description (exterior)

The church is built from sandstone rubble and is harled.    It has a slate roof and steeple.     The east elevation is crowstepped,  capped by a heavy cross and there is a rectangular buttress towards the southern edge of the wall.   In the centre of the elevation is a relief outline of a cross within a circle.

The south elevation has three three round arched windows. On the western edge of the wall is a sloping rubble wall which may be from the medieval church.   . Between the two most easterly windows is a blocked door.   Above this are two stones the lower of which  is inscribed with the words "ENTER IN AT YE STRAIT GET. IT IS YE VYD GET YAT LEDS TO PERDITION".    Above are two arches carved in relief.    The stone above this is  inscribed with the words "ANNO 1598 MY HOUS IS THE HOUS OF PRAYER".

Only the southern edge of the west gable is visible.    The north elevation is pierced by two keyblocked windows with intersecting panes.   Next to the most easterly window is a square headed door which is no longer in use.

The west tower has a slate spire in a sandstone parapet.   The east elevation overlooks the church towards Anstruther.    It is pierced by a pair of arches which are partially blocked and partially louvered with cusped heads.   The parapet above is supported by dentils and pierced by rectangular openings which are partially covered by a clock, dated 1858.      The south elevation mirrors the east elevation and the west elevation faces on to the road.    Entry is through a square-headed door in the west elevation above which is a rectangular vent and the tower which mirrors the east and south elevations. The north is entered though a square-headed door above which is a small rectangular opening.    

 


Description (interior)

The site has been used as a hall for many years, and has  recently been renovated to a high standard.  


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Saint NicholasDedicatee1243
Church of ScotlandDenomination1560-NOW
Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination1243-1560
Mr James SmithArchitect1846Carried out reconstructions on the church, removing the majority of the medieval fabric and replacing it with a single cell building.
Gillespie and ScottArchitect1929architects. Carried out alterations on the church.
Mr Andrew BrydieWright1846Worked on the church in 1846.
Mr Andrew WilsonMason1846Worked on the church in 1846.
Mr William LeesArchitect1846Worked on the church.

Events:

  • Church: Consecration (1243)
    The church was dedicated to St. Nicholas and consecrated.
  • Graveyard: Consecration (1243)
  • Church: Build/construction (1500)
    The bell tower of the church was built.
  • Church: Build/construction (1759 to 1761)
    The church was rebuilt.
  • Church: Addition (1761)
    The church was re-roofed.
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1846)
    The architect involved with the alterations and remodelling of the church was James Smith.
  • Church: Renovation (1930)
    Interior of church renovated.
  • Church: Renovation (1930)
    Interiot of church renovated.
  • Church: Union (1961)
    Union with Anstruther Easter Parish Church.
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1970)
    The church was converted to a hall.
  • Tower: Abandonment (1970)
    The tower is no longer in use as part of the church and has not been since the church became a hall.
  • Tower: Build/construction (c1500)
    The tower was built in the early 16th century.

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 889J. Dowling (2002)
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 889Research by J. Dowling.
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 889Research by J. Dowling.
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34061St. Adrian's Church Hall
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34061St. Adrian's Church Hall.
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 96860St. Nicholas' Church, Churchyard.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 36193Anstruther Wester Town Hall, Session House and Church Hall.
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 890
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 36191Anstruther Wester Parish Church (Now St. Adrian's Church Hall).
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 36192Anstruther Wester Parish Churchyard and Gravestones.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 36191Anstruther Wester Parish Church (Now St Adrian's Church Hall).
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34061
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 36191
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 96860
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 36192

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988pp. 69-70
Historic Royal Burgh of Kilrenny & Anstruther - Churches, Manses & SchoolStevenson, S (Ed.)2001ISBN:0-9536538-1-1 p. 10