Grangemouth Free Church

Grangemouth ZetlandWEST CHURCH

(SMR 880)

NS 9170 8214

CHARING CROSS CHURCH

(SMR 885)

NS 9275 8205

1843

Grangemouth Free Church 1884

1844

Zetland Free Church Charing Cross Free Church
  West Free Church East Free Church 1900

1900

Zetland United Free Church Charing Cross United Free Church
  West United Free Church East United Free Church 1929

1929

Zetland Church of Scotland Charing Cross Church of Scotland
  West Church of Scotland East Church of Scotland 1976

1976

Charing Cross & West Parish Church 1978

TIMELINE

1837:  Grangemouth becomes a “quad sacra” parish and a new church built in the Old Town with Lord Dundas as sole patron.   The church was in the Norman style, similar to Kerse House, cruciform in plan with round-headed windows; it had a small belfry over the entry.   A front gallery was reserved for the Dundas family and its dependants.   Their coat-of-arms (now in Falkirk Museum) lay over the doorway with a flattened arch.

1843: At the Disruption Lord Dundas sided with the Free Church and gave them the use of the building.   This was the first church building in Scotland to be officially handed to the Free Church.

1865:  The building was gifted to the Free Church when the Established Church received a feu of their own in Grangemouth.

1860s: Free Church mission at the Albert Hall, York Lane.

1884:  The location of the old church in the Old Town made it isolated and it Charing Cross Churchwas decided to erect a new building in the New Town and move there.   The foundation stone was laid in April 1883 and the building opened in February the following year.   The new building faced northwards on to the Bo’ness Road, presenting a gable 70 ft high terminating in a massive belfry.   The style of the architecture is early pointed thirteenth century.   The whole possesses massive simplicity and dignity with ample breadth and repose whilst having finish and refinement in details.   The main doors give admission to a spacious central vestibule from which central doors lead to the ground floor seating; double doors to the east and west give access to the galleries by stairways, with cloakrooms on the landings.   The seating on the two levels is circular in form.  Two rows of columns support arches carrying the main roof and divide the church into a nave 30ft wide and 43ft high, with side aisles c9ft wide.  An arched recess and platform pulpit occupy the east end opposite the entrance doors.   Doors to the left and right of the pulpit led to a passage connecting with the session house, vestry, ladies room, with room to the south for a hall.

The old church was kept open by 157 members of the congregation who took over the ownership of the building in return for a contribution of £500 to the new building at Charing Cross.   The manse was also transferred to the new church.  The older church now became known as the “Zetland Free Church” and the new one the “Charing Cross Free Church”.

1885: West Church renovated for jubilee.

1887:  Meetings in the Institute Hall during extensive renovations to West Church.  A gallery roof of pitch pine inserted and Greek pattern fronts put on.

1893: The Deacon’s Court of the Free Church sold the hall and feu to M’Lagon, chemist and druggist, for £850.  The premises were then occupied by the Dundas U.P. Church congregation whose new church was being built.

1894:  Hall built to the rear of the Charing Cross Church by Henry Aitken, builder, according to a design of W G Rowan, architect, Glasgow, to accommodate 4-500.

1901: Hall built to rear of West Church in Norman style to accommodate 400 and capable of being divided by shutters.   It was designed by G Deas Page, architect, Falkirk, and built by J Gardner, mason, Falkirk.

1920s: Mission hall at Beancross.

1928: Improvements to the church and hall at Charing Cross.

1976: West and Charing Cross Churches linked.

1978: March – last service in West Church.

1986: West Church demolished.

MANSE

1884: Old manse transferred to the Charing Cross Free Church.   This lay behind the Dundas church and had been Wester Inch Farm House.

1893:  New manse built for the West Church at a cost of £1,200.

FITTINGS

1887: An octagonal pulpit with a column cluster stand and a font of the same design were placed in the West Church to celebrate its jubilee.

WINDOW

See separate entry for stained glass.

WAR MEMORIALS

See separate entries for Grangemouth West Church War Memorial and for Zetland Parish Church

SEATING

1837: To seat 700

1884: New church to seat 950 plus 20 on the choir platform.

1887: Old church re-seated using plans by Black.

CHURCHYARD

1837: One Scot’s acre was included with the church of 1837 for a burial ground.  The new church did not have any burial ground of its own.

MINISTERS OF THE GRANGEMOUTH FREE CHURCH

WEST CHURCH

Apr 1844

Cochrane, John Jan 1869

Jun 1869

Sinclair, John Oct 1880

Mar 1881

Cumming, George Watson 1884?

Jan 1885

Ridduck, Samuel Murdoch Aug 1931

Jan 1932

Adamson, Graham Forrester Feb 1949

Aug 1949

Martin, James Wilson Sep 1959

Apr 1960

Connor, Malcolm Manfred Nov 1969

Jun 1961

Weller, Thomas Harold Buxton
Patterson, Alex
CHARING CROSS
Cumming, George Watson

1884

Fraser, Thomas Mar 1908

Sep 1908

Gray, Stewart Dickson Jun 1937

Nov 1937

Hare, Malcolm McNeill Walker Sep 1955

Sep 1964

Robertson, Alexander Sep 1963

1982

Mathers, Daniel L.

G.B. Bailey (2019)