Sites and Monument Record: Larbert Parish Church (SMR 127)

The present church opened in 1821 to a design by David Hamilton of Glasgow at a cost of about £4400. It has a rectangular plan with a ridge roof, originally measuring 82.5 ft by 51.5 ft externally. From the west end a tower projects 17 ft for its breadth of 20.5 ft. Each side is divided by intaken buttresses into five bays, and further buttresses rise at the corners of the main building and of the tower. All these bore finials, crocketed at the W end of the main building and the tower, and another crocketed finial stood on the apex of the E gable. Each bay except the W on each side contains a tall window with a returned hood-mould, splayed jambs, plain Gothic tracery and a transom; the W bays had a pair of small lancets, one above the other, lighting respectively a ground floor lobby and landings giving access to the gallery. At the wall-head there is a moulded eaves-course and a plain parapet. At the W end there are two pointed doorways, one to either side of the tower, opening into the entrance lobby and giving access to the body of the church by two inner doors; and above them are lancets lighting the gallery landings. The tower is divided into four stages. At ground level it contains a renovated west door opening into a vaulted vestibule from which stairs rise to right and left to the gallery landings. A smaller stair leads up the tower from the left-hand gallery stair. The second stage shows three windows with plain Gothic tracery, which light the stairs; the third has three lancets, and the uppermost, which contains the bell chamber, large louvred openings with tracery. The parapet is embattled, and the finials are four in number. In 1887 renovations were carried out by A & W Black. 1911 saw an extension to the E with the addition of a vestry suite. There is much stained glass, which is the subject of a separate report.
The late medieval church stood on the apex of a prominent hill dominating the valley of the River Carron to the south. It was positioned a little to the west of the main road north to Stirling. The new church was built to the east of the churchyard. The surroundings of this church have changed considerably since it was built. Originally it was approached by a short drive that also housed a school and dwellings. These have all been demolished and the church hall erected and subsequently extended. The hall, designed by P. MacGregor Chalmers, Glasgow, cost £1200, and was opened in 1905. A pink granite marble fountain with a shallow bowl on a turned circular plinth was presented in 1923. Chamfered sandstone gatepiers with crenellated polished ashlar caps and decorative cast-iron gas lamp fittings were placed either side of the entrance to the drive and fitted with simple two-leaf wrought-iron gates. Cast iron lamp standards are also located to either side of the west door of the church.
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NS 8561 8220
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