Grangemouth Old Parish Church

Grangemouth Old(SMR 990 & 276)

NS 925 8211

NS 9170 8214

NS 9305 8182

TIMELINE

1837    Grangemouth Parish Church             1929

1929    Grangemouth Old Parish Church       1991

1991    Grangemouth Zetland Parish Church

1814: £750 subscribed for a church in Grangemouth, but due to the opposition of the minister of Falkirk Parish Church the new church did not proceed.

1837: 29th  May Grangemouth becomes a “quad sacra” parish having  been  in  the parish  of  Polmont,  and  a new church was erected in the Old Town  with  Lord Dundas as sole patron.  (For details of the building see the West Church.)  The parochial district attached to the church extended to c1.5 square miles with a population of c1,400.

1839: First minister ordained.

1843:  At the Disruption the church building was given to the Free Church for their use.

1845-55: Probationer/missionary appointed, used the school in Canal Street.

1856: Minister ordained.

1863: Site for new church obtained from the Earl of Zetland, who also contributed £200 to the new building.

1865: On 29th May the foundation stone of a new church was laid to coincide with the town’s gala.   The church opened in April of the following year.   It was built by Wm Gardner, contractor, Polmont, to a design by Alexander Black.  It was Early English in style with a tower 60 ft high on the north end fronting Bo’ness Road.  It sat 410 plus the gallery seats at a cost of £1,200.  It opened for worship on 29th April 1866.

1879: An addition costing £1,600 was constructed to hold a total of 900 people.

1880: 7th June Re-erected into a “quad sacra” parish.

1891: 400 of the congregation split from the church and started worship in the Town Hall.  In 1897 they successfully petitioned to form the Kerse Church.

1910: Foundations laid on 6th August for a new building in Ronaldsay Crescent with its Grangemouth Oldassociated hall.  The last service in the old church took place on 25th June 1911 and the new church was opened on 1st July.  The hall had already been opened on 10th June.

The overall style is perpendicular Gothic and the church is cruciform in plan and contains a nave, a south aisle, north and south transepts, chancel, tower and staircase.  A small gallery is placed at the end of the nave, accommodating 104 worshippers.  The choir was in the chancel, where provision was made for a pipe organ.  The tower at the north-west corner is carried up to the embattlements at a height of 75ft and has an octagonal angle turret leading to the belfry and ringer’s room and was surmounted by a timber spire 30ft high, which was later removed.  The main entrance to the church from Ronaldshay Crescent is through the tower and has deep recessed and moulded jambs, with engaged shafts, supporting a heavy Gothic arch.  This front is divided into bays by buttresses, each bay having two-light traceried windows.  The west gable is pierced by two traceried windows of flamboyant design, with canopied niches between.

The interior of the church is finished with ashlar stone, nave and aisles being divided by a pier arcade consisting of four arches which support a timber barrel roof divided by main riles resting on shafts and corbels.  The crossing at the transept is groined, the exterior of the wall is finished with coursers and tooled dressings with buttresses, the space being pierced by late Gothic windows divided with mullions and flamboyant tracery.”  The total accommodation was for 808, inclusive of the small gallery.  “To the end of the church is the hall accommodating 400 persons, the exterior being in keeping with the church.  The inside is finished in a modest style, the ruling feature being the frame bound timber roof.  To the rear of the hall is the session house, ladies’ room, vestry, kitchen, etc., for use with both church and hall when required.”

The heating was obtained by pipes and radiation on the low pressure system and is now fired by fuel oil.  The building is lit throughout by electricity.  Wilson & Tait were the Architects and David Rutherford acted as clerk of works.  The entire building cost £7,035.

1911:  Old church building bought by the railway company and later used as a cinema and store.

1985: Hall refurbished.

1990: October – Union with Grange Church agreed.

1991: Renamed Zetland Parish Church and kept open as the joint church.

MANSE

1950s: Built in the grounds of the church.

FITTINGS

1868: Two cup, two plates and one jug gifted by an anonymous donor.

1884: First harmonium installed.

1910: Austrian oak communion table and chairs in new church dedicated to the memory of Rev Thomson.  Baptismal font gifted by the architects.

1911: New organ cost £800.

1955: Communion cup set gifted by Mrs Findlay in memory of her husband, together with an oak glass fronted case.

1982: A “Father Willis” organ from a disused London church restored and installed at a cost of £51,000.

BELL

1881: Cast by John C Wilson, Glasgow in the key of A.  It is 37.5ins diameter and weighs 10.5 cwt.

WINDOWS

See separate entry for Zetland Parish Church stained glass windows.

SEATING

1865: 410.

1879: 700.

1910: 800.

MINISTERS OF GRANGEMOUTH PARISH CHURCH

May 1839

Taylor, James William Apr 1843

Feb 1846

Dickson, William Purdie  {probationer} 1851

1851

Holdom, William {probation till Oct 1856} Jun 1884

Dec 1884

Thomson, George Miles Dec 1908

Apr 1909

Wiseman, William Reid Feb 1914

May 1914

McPherson, Alexander Jul 1939

Mar 1939

Murray, William Oct 1945

May 1946

Thom, Hugh Richmond Jul 1963

Mar 1964

Spowart, David Feb 1978

Jul 1978

Gibson, James M. Nov 1989

1991

Black, Ian W

G.B. Bailey (2019)