Bo’ness Burgher Church

(SMR 295 & 294)      

NS 9982 8156;  NS 9986 8134


1747Bo’ness Associate Congregation1820
Bo’ness Burgher Church
1820Bo’ness United Secession Church 1847
Bo’ness United Associate Congregation
1847West United Presbyterian Church1900
1900Craigmailen United Free Churchpresent

1747: First meetings held in Linlithgow.   The church at Craigmailing, south of Linlithgow, became the mother church.

Bo'ness Burgher Church
The 1795 building lies on the left at the top of the Brae.

1795:  A petition in April 1794 from members of the Linlithgow Burgher Church living in Bo’ness for disjunction was signed by 205 people.  In May 1795 they formed the Burgher Congregation of Craigmailen.  A meeting place was built on Providence Brae on the northern boundary of the glebe.  This was a simple rectangular building with ashlar dressings and angle margins.  It cost £500 and the mason was Nisbet of Edinburgh.

Access  was  from Providence Brae through a door with pointed arch  and  raised rybats,  above  this is a Venetian window whose central light is  pointed;  and above  that  again a circular vent.   At some late date a porch has been erected over the west door.   Inside the church a stair to the left led to galleries on the west, north and south sides.  The south elevation had two tall central windows with pointed heads and Y-tracery and two smaller windows of similar style, set one above the other, on either side.   The north elevation contains similar central windows and a smaller one at first floor level to the east.   At the east end is a blocked door with a Venetian window above, reflecting that of the west.  The roof is slated.  In 1989 the site was disused and the building in an advanced state of decay, but it has since been renovated.

1820: Union with the Anti-Burghers.

1837: Galleries inserted to seat 400 in total.

1847: The United Secession and the Relief Synods became the United Presbyterian Church.  This made little difference as there was no Relief church in Bo’ness.

1883:  New church built in Jane Terrace, Braehead Road in the simple Early English Gothic style.   The masonry is squared snecked rubble with ashlar dressings.   It has a three-bay buttressed nave and aisles with a 130ft tall angle buttressed tower, having paired belfry lights and a crown spire at the north-west.   The main door is in the north gable under a pointed arch carved with vines. Above this is a tall plate traceried window with cusped lancets, trefoils and a vesica.   On entry there is a gallery stair to the left with an east gable.   There are three pairs of plain lancets to the nave.   The nave itself is three-bayed, arcaded, with galleries over the aisles and to the north.   The boarded roof is painted with flowers and stars.   The architects were McKissack and Rowan.  The cost was £4,000.  Completed towards the end of 1884 and formally opened 17 January 1885.

 1889: The old church had been bought by G.C. Stewart and served as the Institute Hall.  In 1889 it was bought by the Catholic Church and opened in August that year as St. Mary’s Church.

1900: Union with the Free Church.

1984: Repairs carried out to the spire.


1892: bell donated by John Paul.


1880: The manse to the new church lay on ground immediately adjacent to the east.


See separate entry for Craigmailen Church Windows


See seperate entry on war memorial


1883: 600.


Sep 1795Morton, James 
Aug 1796Harper, ArchibaldApr 1834
Jan 1835Connet, David 
 Connell, Archibald BrowningJul  1867
 Stewart, MOct 1869
Jun  1874Sleath, Samuel1907
Nov 1907Young, David Gill1941
1941Fraser, C1949
1950Lewis, WG1953
1955Findlay, JC1961
1962McIlwain, J1969
1972Mitchell, D. Ross1980
1981Anderson, Brian1984
1986Tait, Stuart1990
1992Marshall, Jim G2003
2004Hartley, Frankpresent

G.B. Bailey (2019)