The Building of Maxwelltown West ChurchMay 23, 2013
The Laurieknowe area in 1850 was very different from now.
A new Free Church was to be commissioned and a design prepared by Mr. Barbour, architect, was selected and a site was obtained.
By the 1893 map, the area had changed considerably. The following report on the building of the church is taken from the book ‘Jubilee 1866 – 1916 Maxwelltown United Free Church’ printed for the Deacons’ Court.
“The whole work, exclusive of painting, was contracted for by Messrs Crackston & Sons, builders, Maxwelltown. The foundation stone was laid by Mr. A. Murray Dunlop, M.P. on the 6th of July, 1865; and the church thoroughly completed has just been publicly opened for the worship of God.
To Mr. Costin, painter, was entrusted the pictorial ornamentation of the interior, a task he has performed with admirable skill and taste. The building appears to be a model piece of masonry, reflecting the utmost credit on Messrs Crackston & Son.
We ought not to neglect to mention that the fine toned bell of the church was the gift of Mr. J. M. Henderson, manufacturer, and that the Baillie Tweddle gave, as his subscription, £20 for purchasing the heating apparatus. The contract price for the work of the mason, joiner, slater, plasterer, etc., was £1,888; the charge for painting, heating, grates, rails, and architect’s fee will be about £220; the price of the site was £165 – in all £2,273. This will leave a considerable margin of debt – probably £400 or more; but whilst thankfully acknowledging the liberality manifested by the people at the opening services, by the handsome collection of £56/14s, we trust that the collection to be taken at the services in the church tomorrow will also be on a large and liberal scale.
The church was opened by the Rev. Dr. Begg on Thursday, 15th November, at twelve o’clock. Though the day was wet and boisterous, nearly every seat was occupied, the country members of the congregation, no less than those of the town, turning out well.”