Glasgow, 1 Caledonia Road, Caledonia Road United Presbyterian Church

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Alternative Names Laurieston Road; Hutchesontown And Caledonia Road Church
Canmore ID 44352
Site Number NS56SE 86
NGR NS 58932 63852
Former District CITY OF GLASGOW
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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1 Caledonia Road, 1856, Alexander Thomson
Former Caledonia Road UP Church. A mere fragment of Thomson┬┐s first large church, burnt out in 1965. A magnificent tower, unadorned apart from the bell openings and clock on top. The Greek `temple┬┐ alongside on the plain base, reminiscent of the Athens Acropolis. A satisfyingly balanced composition with the bulk of the church behind and originally lit by clerestory windows. Thomson became an elder of this congregation, declaring later that Religion had been the soul of Art from the beginning. A classicist, he argued in his lectures and publications that Gothic was a barbarian interloper. Awaiting a settled environment for incorporation into what deserves to be a major public project.

Taken from "Greater Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Sam Small, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Architectural Notes

ARCHITECT: Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 1856-7

Gutted following arson attack, 30 October 1965. Partially demolished.
G Stamp 1999.

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Archaeological Notes

1855 to 1857

Further details

30 October 1997

Project Buildings at Risk Register BARR

Notes Church and hall on gusset site, burnt out 1965. Banded ashlar on polygonal masonry base. South elevation: temple front raised over ground floor banded masonry podium with 2 boldly detailed corniced doorpieces with Greek motifs and antifixae. Original wooden doors. Ionic pedimented hexastyle portico above. East elevation: banded masonry and 3 blank corniced windows with discs. Low door at north end. Only 1-bay of gallery level remains. West elevation: 1-storey hall with 9 pilastered windows, now blank and 2 doors in architraves and frieze under small paired windows. The doors are concrete replicas of wooden doors. Tall square tower of banded masonry with 3 narrow openings near the top, a lantern and cross. Small section of cast iron railings at base. Rear wall modern. Interior gutted. (Historic Scotland)

The church, Alexander Thomson's first, was erected together with two adjoing tenements in Cathcart Road and Hospital Street as an architectural grouping, with coursing of stonework and window detailing for example, being carried across all three buildings. The ruin of the church being one of the few remaining early features of 19th century Gorbals to remain (Glasgow City Council)

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Further details

Books and References

Aikman, J L (ed.) (1875) Historical notices of the United Presbyterian congregations in Glasgow, With photographs by Thomas Annan Glasgow (printed by McLaren & Erskine, Glasgow)
Page(s): p163 Held at RCAHMS D.12.4.UNI.R

Billing, J M M (1939) 'Alexander ''Greek'' Thomson: a study of the re-creation of a style', Roy Incorporation Architects Scot Quart, 62 October
Page(s): 23

Binney and Burman, M and P (1977a) Change and decay: the future of our churches, London
Page(s): 51 Held at RCAHMS F.5.3.BIN

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