Grangemouth Free Church


(SMR 880) NS 9170 8214


(SMR 885) NS 9275 8205

1843 Grangemouth Free Church 1884
1844 Zetland Free ChurchCharing Cross Free Church 
 West Free ChurchEast Free Church1900
1900 Zetland United Free ChurchCharing Cross United Free Church 
 West United Free ChurchEast United Free Church1929
1929 Zetland Church of ScotlandCharing Cross Church of Scotland 
 West Church of ScotlandEast Church of Scotland1976
1976 Charing Cross & West Parish Church 1978


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.

Charing Cross Church

1884:  The location of the old church in the Old Town made it isolated and it was 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.


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.


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.


See separate entry for stained glass.


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


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.


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.


Apr 1844 Cochrane, JohnJan 1869
Jun 1869 Sinclair, JohnOct 1880
Mar 1881 Cumming, George Watson1884?
Jan 1885 Ridduck, Samuel MurdochAug 1931
Jan 1932 Adamson, Graham ForresterFeb 1949
Aug 1949 Martin, James WilsonSep 1959
Apr 1960 Connor, Malcolm ManfredNov 1969
Jun 1961 Weller, Thomas Harold Buxton 
 Patterson, Alex 
 Cumming, George Watson 
1884 Fraser, ThomasMar 1908
Sep 1908 Gray, Stewart DicksonJun 1937
Nov 1937 Hare, Malcolm McNeill WalkerSep 1955
Sep 1964 Robertson, AlexanderSep 1963
1982 Mathers, Daniel L. 

G.B. Bailey (2019)