(SMR 257 & 258)
NS 9367 7930; NS 9367 7926
1724 Polmont Parish Church
1929 Polmont North Church of Scotland
1498: At Polmonth a chaplain at the chapel of “the Blessed Virgin Mary” is mentioned in a royal charter (Registrum Magni Sigilli vol.II no 2441), as is a high altar.
1649: Proposals were made to establish a church in the eastern part of the parish of Falkirk.
1724: Polmont disjoined from Falkirk and erected by the Commissioners of Teinds into a full parish on 22nd July.
1730: 7 acres of land bought from Patrick Bennet of Whyteside for the erection of a new church, graveyard and manse. William Douglass of Edinburgh provided the design for a church.
1731-3: Foundation laid on 22 May, 1731 (stone later built into the south boundary wall of the churchyard and then in the porch of the new church). Dressed stone came from South Queensferry, and rubble stone from Gilston Quarry and Maddiston. Building completed with three galleries or lofts entered by external stone stairs. It was T-shaped in plan with the pulpit on the long wall. The main block measures 75ft 9 in from west to east by 30ft 6 in transversely over walls 3ft thick, with the aisle 29ft 9 in wide projecting from the middle of the north side and open to the interior. The masonry is of large rubble with dressed quoins and margins to voids, backset on the south side only. The walls finish in a cavetto eaves-course and the gables have plain tabling. The apex of the aisle gable has carried a bellcote, now vanished. The south side shows a square-headed central door, now built up. On either side of the door there is a large, high round-headed window, subdivided by plain tracery into two pointed lights; the lower parts of both these windows have also been built up. Each of the three gables has a square-headed central door measuring 6ft 6 ins by 4ft 6 ins, with the raggle of a porch above and, on the upper level, a high round-headed window with crooks for outside shuttering. The east and west gables also have square windows, measuring 4ft each way, on either side of the doors; but in the aisle the corresponding windows are placed in the side walls, with narrower ones at the upper level and slightly further to the south. In the north wall of the main block there are also two similar windows at the upper level, near the junction of the aisle. Total cost was over £330. Sackcloth bought. The architect was Mr Adams (father of Robert).
1735: School built on the opposite side of the road to the church.
1736: Half way up the south wall a sundial was inserted between two windows and above the central doorway.
1738: Tent of 12.5 yds of linen for communion cloth used for communion service.
1757: Robert Heart, stonemason, carried out repairs to the church and school.
1785: Walls plastered internally and ceiling inserted. New office houses built.
1807: Repairs to the fabric of the building.
1844: In April a quarter of an acre of land to the south of the church was bought from Miss Kincaid. The foundation stone of the new church was laid in the south tower and reads “Founded 10th May, 1844”. A time capsule, consisting of coins, newspapers and archives was placed behind it. John Tait of Edinburgh was the architect and William Thorburn of Polmont did the mason work. The stone was quarried form Brightons and Maddiston. The church faces east onto Bo’ness Road with an imposing facade consisting of a gable flanked by twin spires. It is Romanesque in style. Cost £2,581. Officially opened for worship on 20th July 1845, and the unwanted materials of the old church were sold off in the following August.
1899: New hall opened 11th May to a design by James Strang, Architect, Falkirk.
1931: Chancel floor raised when organ put in.
1930s: Session House built on west end.
1959: New session house built at a cost of £2,419 by Dan Ramsay & Son.
1961: 10th September, linked with Shieldhill until 1st November 1963.
1963: Lesser hall opened 18th September at a cost of £3,850.
1730s: Built a few years after 1732, Kinneil House is still lived in. Patrick Bennet, the first minister, lived at his own house of Whyteside and the manse was rented out with part of the rent going to the minister.
1954: Old manse sold and a new one purchased in Main Street.
1750: 2 cups of solid silver presented by James Murray, portioner.
1845: 2 cups presented by Mrs Spiers, Polmont Bank.
1890: 2 cups presented by William Learmonth, Bowhouse.
1924: 6 silver platters presented by Captain Thomas Harvey, Weedingshall.
Individual communion sets gifted by an anonymous donor.
1928: Communion table gifted by the congregation, made of Austrian oak in the early eighteenth century Scottish Renaissance style with decoration consisting of sheaves and vines. Dedicated to Rev McKenzie.
1950: 2 chairs from the family of the Late Captain & Mrs Harvey, Weedingshall, and Trustees of the Boyd family, Little Kerse.
1951: Choir stalls and gold plate dedicated to those who fell in the World War.
1956: New pulpit of Austrian oak with carved pillars enriched with ecclesiastical symbols depicting strength, holiness and beauty. The central coloured panel is a carving representing the Agnes Dei resting on a book with seven seals, three fishes to the right and a dove to the left.
1964: Baptismal font given by Mrs M. Bell, Northpark, Polmont.
1931: Organ installed.
1739: Account mentions bell rope and winding sheet.
1870: New bell gifted by William Logan of Clarkston and hung in the south tower. It weighs 15 cwt and was cast in London. “IN memory of William Logan of Clarkston in this Parish, and Janet his Wife; gifted to the Parish Church of Polmont by their surviving sons and daughters 1870”. The old bell was given to Blackbraes Church.
1969: Crack developed and bell recorded for future use.
See separate entry for stained glass.
1733: To seat 607
1844: Accommodate 900 people in the ground floor area and the gallery.
See separate entry for war memorial.
1734: Two gravestones of this date can be seen. There are also two temptation stones.
Polmont Old Parish Churchyard in detail
MINISTERS OF POLMONT PARISH CHURCH
|Mar 1733||Bennet, Patrick||Apr 1763|
|Jul 1784||Finlay, William||Jan 1800|
|Jun 1800||Smith, Dykes||Nov 1809|
|Jul 1810||McFarlan, Patrick||Jul 1824|
|Apr 1825||Ker, John Wightman||Jan 1872|
|Aug 1872||Muir, Pearson McAdam||Sep 1880|
|Jul 1880||Ross, William||Oct 1893|
|May 1894||McKenzie, John Buchanan||Feb 1926|
|1926||Williamson, James Walker Morison||Apr 1953|
|Apr 1954||Talman, Hugh||Oct 1987|
|1988||Thain, Graham M||1998|
G.B. Bailey (2019)