The buildingA short guided tour
Photograph credit: Neil Jinkerson (used with permission)
The history of All Saints’ Church, St Andrews outlines something of the history of the building, from the disestablishment of the Episcopal church in the reign of William and Mary until the present. This page describes in some detail the current building itself.
The church is approached through a small courtyard. The main gates are those provided by Mrs Younger: those to the south were given in 1957 by Dr Dorothy Douglas to replace those removed during the Second World War. Castle Wynd House, a 17th century building with a crowstepped tower added in 1921, is on the north of the courtyard. Ahead, through the pillared entrance portico, is the church hall, and the church itself fills the south side.
The chancel and bell towers are the earliest of the church buildings, and were designed by John Douglas of Chester and erected between 1906 and 1909 by CF Anderson, a local architect. The stone was quarried locally from Nydie Quarries above Strathkinness. The work was carried out by local firms Carstairs and Thom. Note the weather vane in the form of a fish, appropriate to the site of the church in the fishing quarter of the town. The more recent buildings in the complex were designed by architect Paul Waterhouse, apart from the rectory which was designed after Waterhouse’s death by Reginald Fairley. These buildings are of Cullaloe stone quarried near Aberdour.
The war memorial of grey Forest of Dean stone was unveiled in 1924.
The nave is the main body of the church, where the congregation sits. The term comes from the medieval Latin word for a ship (navis) because if you turn the building upside down the roof looks like the keel of a ship.
The church is entered at the north aisle of the nave. Passing round the back of the seats, you will find hanging above you a model ship which was presented by Dr Dorothea Walpole in 1954 in memory of her brother Hugh Walpole, the novelist.
The model had been kept by him in his study. A watercolour painting at present in the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery shows Hugh Walpole’s study with the ship in place.
It appears to be an early eighteenth-century Dutch man-of-war, though it is not an accurate scale model and it is impossible to identify as a particular ship.
Facing towards the altar, the carving of the Virgin and Child set into a pillar is the work of Hew Lorimer, artist and architect, who lived at Kellie Castle, near Pittenweem.
This carving is a memorial to Mrs Younger, who completed and endowed the church.
The hanging rood (the cross hanging above the steps to the chancel) by Nathaniel Hitch (1924) is a memorial to members of the Hull family, whose initials appear on the back:
- The Rev Mr (RAH) Hull.
- Mrs Hull (EMH).
And their three daughters:
- Phyllis (PMH), who died as a schoolgirl,
- Mrs Todd (EDT), and
- Mrs Dalmahoy (VCD), and their son-in-law Mr Dalmahoy (IFCD).
The pulpit was made by Scott Morton & Tynecastle of Edinburgh. The screen walls dividing the nave from the chancel are of red Italian marble, and the gates are also Italian.
Turning back towards the west end of the church, the baptistry is entered through a wrought iron screen by T Elsey & Co. (1924). The arch above the screen is filled with a grille of green tiles. The font, of red and green Italian marble, is by Farmer & Brindley, and its gilded wood cover, representing a church with open doors, by Nathaniel Hitch.
The cover was given by Mr Eric Boothby in memory of his wife, Mrs Younger’s daughter. The window, by Douglas Strachan, Aberdeen, represents John the Baptist. The fine Paschal candlestick, present in the baptistry except during Eastertide when it may be found in the chancel, was the work of local blacksmith Mr Harvey.
Leaving the baptistry and turning to the south aisle, the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is entered through wooden gates carved by Nathaniel Hitch.
The marble columns dividing the chapel from the south aisle are by Farmer & Brindley, and the wrought iron screen was made from a pair of old Italian gates. The two medallions in the screen are double-sided, and represent: (left-hand medallion) Panis Angelorum (the bread of the angels) on the nave side, with St Francis on the reverse; (right-hand medallion) Vinis Vitae (the vine of life) on the nave side, with St Clare on the reverse.
Within the chapel, the walls are panelled in dark green and black marble, and marble pillars at the altar steps bear kneeling stone angels. The alabaster altar is by Farmer & Brindley.
The window on the west side of the chapel is by Douglas Strachan, Aberdeen, and represents the Last Supper. Above the main picture the window is filled with a variety of Christian symbols appropriate to its theme, and at the top of the three lights are the symbols of the four evangelists and two angels bearing the crown of thorns and the crown of victory.
The reredos, carved by Nathaniel Hitch, has four figures connected with the Body of Christ: on the left Nicodemus and Veronica, on the right Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene. Stones set in the floor commemorate Molly Boothby, daughter of Mrs Younger, and Lucy Menzies.
Returning to the main body of the church and turning east, six steps of white Italian marble lead from the nave to the chancel.
The altar step is of the same stone. The carved wooden roof above the altar, set with emblems of the Passion, was supplied by Martyn & Co., Bond Street. The choir stalls and priest’s stalls were made by Scott Morton & Tynecastle in Edinburgh.
The east window by Louis Davis, Pinner, Middlesex (1913) shows the annunciation and nativity. It was presented to the church as an anonymous thank-offering. The north window by Mrs Pritchard of Glasgow (1958) was dedicated in memory of Bishop Piers Holt Wilson, who was the first rector of All Saints’. The left light depicts Christ calling Peter and Andrew to be fishers of men, and the right, Peter and John healing the lame man at the Gate Beautiful of the Temple.
The organ, a two-manual and pedal organ, was built by Hill & Son, Norman & Beard, of London, and the case by Nathaniel Hitch.
Stained glass windows
The large window in the north transept, ‘This honour have all his saints’, is by Karl Parsons, London and dates from 1910. There is an emphasis on Scottish saints in particular, and the central light contains a representation of St Andrews’ cathedral. In the larger figures the following saints are represented.
Upper row, left, Saints Maura, Bridget, and Kentigern; right, Saints Mund, Wilfred, and Columba.
Lower row, left, Saints Medana, Andrew, and Kennocha; right, Saints Ninian, Margaret and Patrick.
St George can be found among the smaller figures grouped above.
There are two windows by Louis Davis from Pinner, Middlesex in All Saints’. The East window, above the high altar, dates from 1913 and shows the Annunciation in the left-hand light and the Nativity in the right.
The other is the small west window in the north aisle and is titled “Christus Regnabit”. This window dates to 1923 and is in the Waterhouse-built part of the church.
The stained glass window in the south aisle, ‘Faith’, is by Herbert Hendrie, Edinburgh. It was presented by Mrs Maitland Heriot in memory of her two sisters Mary Maitland Rollo and Lilias Maitland.