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Hawick, Wilton Church

A Category B Listed Building in Hawick, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.4288 / 55°25'43"N

Longitude: -2.7883 / 2°47'17"W

OS Eastings: 350210

OS Northings: 615275

OS Grid: NT502152

Mapcode National: GBR 85ZN.4Q

Mapcode Global: WH7XG.4TH1

Entry Name: Hawick, Wilton Church

Listing Date: 19 August 1977

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 379008

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB34678

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Hawick

County: Scottish Borders

Town: Hawick

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Denholm

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

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John Thomas Emmett, 1860-2; enlarged 1908-10, James Pearson Alison. T-plan, Early Decorated-style, gabled parish church oriented SE-NW, with 4-stage, pyramidal-roofed tower at S corner, lean-to side aisled, transepts, chancel, and vestry in W corner. Tooled yellow sandstone ashlar with polished margins (see NOTES). Base course; cill courses. Sawtooth-capped, battered buttresses, gabletted to transepts. Tripartite, bar-traceried windows to entrance gable, chancel and transepts; predominantly Y-traceried windows elsewhere; head-stopped hoodmoulds to principal windows and to all openings on entrance elevation and tower. Shouldered margins to doors and windows of vestry and offices.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 3-bay, gabled SE (entrance) elevation: 4 stone steps to central, 2-leaf, timber-panelled door with wrought-iron strap hinges; elaborately traceried window above and to right, with colonnette mullions. Tower recessed to left: blind 1st and 3rd stages, window to 2nd and 4th stages, and machicolated parapet. SW (Dickson Street) elevation with tower to outer right; 3-bay aisle; gabled transept and piend-roofed offices to outer left. Projecting, gabled chancel to centre of 5-bay NW elevation with 2 small, bipartite, stop-chamfered basement windows and large, traceried window above; ridge-roofed bays to left and right; low, flat-roofed, advanced section to right; piended vestry and office accommodation to outer left and right with crenellated parapets. NE elevation similar to SW. Paired, diagonally aligned gablehead stacks to vestry and office accommodation to NW.

Fixed, leaded lights throughout; stained glass to SE, SW and NW elevations and NE transept. Grey slate roof with metal ridges. Ashlar-coped, kneelered skews. Ashlar stacks with some circular, buff clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Timber-boarded screen with chamfered detail to narthex. 4-shaft columns with simple roll-moulded capitals to 5-bay nave and 2-bay transepts; timber gallery across SE end of nave and NW aisle, with arcaded panel front; 2 steps up to chancel and baptistery with richly carved, arcaded stone detailing. Dark timber pews with chamfered detailing; richly carved, Gothic, timber communion table and lectern; octagonal timber pulpit (1862) on stone base; square Caen stone font (1910) supported on thick central stone shaft and 4 Iona marble corner shafts. Wagon ceiling to nave, chancel and transepts. Stone floor. Cantilevered stone stair to gallery with simple iron balustrade and polished timber handrail.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. A good, mid 19th-century Gothic parish church, sympathetically enlarged in the early 20th century, with fine carved stone detailing and furnishings and good stained glass.

John Thomas Emmett (1828-98) was a London architect who came to renown by winning the competition for the Bath Street Independent Chapel in Glasgow in 1849. Wilton Parish Church was likewise the subject of a competition, in 1858, in which William Notman, J T Rochead and Brown & Wardrop were among the unsuccessful entrants. It was originally an aisled rectangle; the aisled transepts, shallow north-west chancel and small vestry were added by James Pearson Alison in 1908-10. Hawick's most prominent architect, Alison (1862-1932) had commenced practice in the town in 1888 and remained there until his death, during which period he was responsible for a large number of buildings of widely varying types and styles. He was also responsible for the chancel furnishings of Wilton Parish Church.

The sandstone used for the building is thought to be from nearby Denholm. The stone carving on the original parts is by Farmer & Brindley, and on the 1908-10 parts is by Joseph Hayes of Edinburgh. Cement used in the past for repairs has caused some damage to the stonework. The stained glass is mostly by Lilian J Pocock of London, who also designed windows at St George's West Church (now Teviot & Roberton Parish Church) in Hawick.

Wilton has been a separate parish from the rest of Hawick since at least 1170, its original church having stood on a site to the south-east of this building, where traces of its churchyard remain. The medieval church had been rebuilt in 1762, enlarged in 1801 and further altered in 1829; despite the construction of the new building, Ordnance Survey maps show that it remained standing until at least 1917. List description revised as part of the Hawick Burgh Resurvey (2008).

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