St Modan’s Church, Cochrane Street

Illus: Idealised Drawing of St Modan’’s Church prior to construction.

In 1914 a new Church of Scotland building was designed for Falkirk by P Macgregor Chalmers who was probably the best-known church architect in Scotland at that time.  His output was immense and included Carriden Parish Church.  He was so busy that he tended to restrict himself to the design work and the direct supervision of the work on site was delegated to local architects.  Such was the case for St Modan’s Church in Cochrane Street for which J G Callander acted on his behalf at the Dean of Guild Court and subsequently as clerk of works.  The first sod was cut in March 1914 by Graeme Whitelaw; the foundation stone laid by Lord Glenconner October 1914; and the church dedicated in December 1915 by Rev D. Paul, moderator of the General Assembly.

The church was designed to accommodate 750 persons at a cost of £5,000.  It was executed in snecked rubble with ashlar dressings using stone from Brightons Quarry.  Large columns dominate the interior and separate the nave from the aisles. Each pillar is differently carved.    The clerestory supports an open timber barrel-roof.  Over the four doorways into the nave are carved texts from the Bible and others occur below the clerestory windows.   At the north end an apsidal recess contained the communion table and seats for elders.  A smaller apse, at the northern end of the west aisle, contained the baptismal font.   The choir stalls, pews and other furniture were of oak, including the pulpit which had a freestone base.  The builder for the work was John Gardner.

St Modan’s Church, Falkirk     SMR 208         NS 8870 7964

G.B. Bailey, 2021