ST ANDREW'S PARISH CHURCH, Main Road, Alexandria.
ACCESS : Currently vacant. Church and churhyard are locked up.
BUILDINGS AT RISK REGISTER for Scotland : 6159
Built in 1840. This church building has the traditional Gothic hall layout. The front facade is dignified and when seen through those tall black railings with pink blossoms cascading down can be quite a sight.
The building has been vacant for some time. Since ceasing to be used for ecclesiastic purposes and has served as a childrens soft play centre, but that did not last. An intermediate level had been installed to better utilised the large volume. Buildings can be difficult to keep totally secure and weather proof and creepers managed to squeeze in under the render.
It has an interesting range of tombstones in its churchyard and the SMOLLETT MAUSOLEUM (Discussed separately).
Extract from a map of c 1859. NLS ©
On the evening of Saturday the 23rd April 2022, great plumes of geay smoke drifted westwards from the church; sporadic black smoke bursting upwards from the large flames. This was the second fire here in this month, but this time it was really catastrophic. Surprisingly, by the next morning the walls were still standing.
This building which has so long been the subject of concern of its future, has suddenly taken another step. Which direction though? Does this mean that it must now languish for years as an unused ruin? (as does Milburn Church down the road). Or does it being so now severely damaged mean that it must now be demolished? Perhaps the answer is somewhere inbetween. Remember that the whole of the premises is very important historically and socially. This includes a very significant graveyard and the Smollett Mausoleum and there are beautiful trees. Perhaps more can be made of that setting and the existing main church building simply reduced down to its principle elements of tower and spire; a monument to a greater earlier congregation and community.
See the churchyard here : index.asp?pageid=717504
See Smolletts Mausoleum here : index.asp?pageid=715706
View from Carman Hill on the evening of 23rd April 2022.
A lovely Sunday morning - the morning after the fire.
In spite of the great quantity of bellowing smoke the evening before, the main structure remained standing.
BUILDINGS AT RISK REGISTER FOR SCOTLAND : https://www.buildingsatrisk.org.uk/search/keyword/alexandria/event_id/1022149/building_name/st-andrews-parish-church-main-street-alexandria
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND website for listed buildings : http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/LB1136
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND (NLS) : map extract above taken from Ordinance Survey Map "Alexandria - Sheet XVIII.9.20. Surveyed: ". https://maps.nls.uk/view/74415045