Description: Inveresk Village, St Michael's Kirk (church of Scotland) with Graveyard Walls, Railings and Piers
Date Listed: 22 January 1971
Historic Scotland Building ID: 10880
OS Grid Coordinates: 334432, 672069
Latitude/Longitude: 55.9372, -3.0512
There is also a scheduled monument, Inveresk, Roman civil settlement W of Inveresk Gate, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
Robert Nisbet, 1803-1805, rectangular plan classical, Georgian 3-stage church; William Sibbald, steeple, 1805; J MacIntyre Henry, 1893, additions of projecting stair and organ bays, and interior reconstruction. Squared and coursed, droved grey stone and ashlar dressings; base and band courses and banded quoins, moulded cornice;
banded droving to steeple; yellow sandstone, coursed rubble and ashlar to 1893 additions. Segmentally arched windows to body of the church.
STEEPLE: William Sibbald; projecting at centre of S elevation; vestry and upper vestry in pilastered temple front at ground, with 4 set-off stages above, terminating in stone spire with 3-tiers of lucarnes.
Round arched doorway with decorative fanlight; round arched window on W return, flanked by classical wall monuments, in tripartite form; further round arched windows set in recessed panel above and on E and W return elevations; oval panel in tympanum, inscribed AD 1805. Dentil cornice above semi-circular windows at 2nd stage, each 3-light with outer lights blocked. Raised, pedimented panels at centre of 3rd stage, bearing octagonal 4th stage; keystoned blinded round- arched windows to 4 sides, pilaster flanked, triglyphed and metoped frieze and cornice above; octagonal 5th stage with detached Ionic columns bearing cornice, and blinded round-arched openings to each face. Cockerel weathervane crowning spire.
S ELEVATION: 5-bay, steeple at centre. Tall round-arched window rising to 2nd stage flanking steeple each side with loop tracery; window above and in each stage of outer bays, those at 3rd stage smaller, in clerestorey form.
N ELEVATION: (original entrance elevation); 3-bay; Tuscan-columned doorpiece at centre, doorway blocked as window (1893). Windows to each stage in each bay above and flanking.
W ELEVATION: 3-bay; corniced stairblock projecting at centre, full-height with blocking course, ashlar stage at ground, and rounded angles; Gibbsian doorways on N and S return elevations; paired round-arched windows with Gibbsian surrounds to 2nd stage to W, pilaster flanked. Window to each floor in flanking bays, set by re-entrant angle.
E ELEVATION: 3-bay; corniced rectangular projection at centre, with blocking course, housing organ; blinded window at ground stage. Simply corniced doorways flanking both sides by re-entrant angle, with tall
windows rising from 2nd to 3rd stage above.
Multi-pane sash and case windows with timber glazing bars, and leaded glazing pattern to each pane. Piend roof, grey slates, lead flashings.
BELL: Burgerhuys bell dated 1624.
SUNDIALS: flanking vestry entrance, 2 wall-mounted sundials, that to left by Archibald Handyside, 1785, brought from earlier church.
INTERIOR: reconstructed J MacIntyre Henry, 1892; restored 1988. Galleried, 3-aisled church. Panelled gallery on fluted Ionic cast-iron columns to N, S and W, with Fishermen's Loft above to W. Adamesque plaster ceiling. Communion Table, sited at E during 1893 reconstruction, comprised of early 18th century communion rail taken from church in Antwerp and adapted by William Adams, Edinburgh, ornately carved. Pulpit (replacing earlier pulpit sited at centre of S wall), Taylor and Son, Edinburgh, classical oak design with staircase. Organ case, Taylor and Son; organ by Lewis and Co, Brixton, 1897. Eagle Lectern, brass. Octagonal stone font. 2 classical oak,
secondary lecterns. Segmental pediments to bench ends. Double, interwoven stone, scale and splatt staircases with wrought-iron balustrades in W stairblock. Winding timber stair to steeple vestries. Gravestone embedded in wall of stairblock, probably 18th century.
Coloured glass to majority of windows. Stained glass windows: Douglas Strachan, window to right of Communion Table, to St Michael, 1923. 2 windows on S wall by Ballantine, Edinburgh; W window to David Macbeth Moir.
Small window in W vestibule by Margaret Chilton.
GRAVEYARD WALLS, RAILINGS AND PIERS: graveyard on site of Roman Fort; rubble graveyard walls with semi-circular and ashlar coping; later section of graveyard to W. Oliver's Mound denoting Cromwell's use of former church as cavalry station. Wrought- and cast-iron railings dividing paths from graveyard proper, set on ashlar coped rubble bases. Wrought-iron gates. Pair of square, ashlar gatepiers to S, by Inveresk Village Road, corniced and with caps.
MONUMENTS, MAUSOLEA AND GRAVESTONES: large number of fine wall monuments, largely 19th century. Several earlier gravestones with decorative classical form, memento mori and inscriptions. Table slab gravestones of 18th century. Rectangular plan burial enclosure in
ashlar, 19th century.
Rev Sidney Adamson ST MICHAEL'S KIRK, INVERESK (1984).
G Hay ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST-REFORMATION CHURCHES 1560-1843 (1957) pp119, 175, 190.
R M D Stirling INVERESK PARISH LORE (1894)
NSA (1839) pp275-7, 295-7.
C McWillian LOTHIAN (1978) pp263-5.
SRO plans: RHP.7022 and 7023, galleries and organ recess.
TRANSACTIONS of Scottish Ecclesiological Society, vol V, James Wilkie 'The Ecclesiology and History of Inveresk'.
There has apparently been a church on this site since the 6th century. The steeple follows Sibbald's earlier design for that at St Andrew's, George Street, Edinburgh, 1894, and that classical "box-like" form recalls that of St Cuthbert's, 1789, by H Weir. St Michael's stands as a prominent landmark for many miles around.
Source: Historic Scotland
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.