WEBSTER Homes has announced that, subject to a successful planning application, it is to redevelop Old South Church in Comrie Street, Crieff.
The redevelopment will see nine luxury apartments created from the A-listed building, with all construction work carried out by Webster Homes’ contracting arm and sister company, Webster Developments.
Designed by J J Stevenson in 1882 in a late Scots Gothic style, Old South Church was inspired by Dunblane Cathedral, with its spire a major landmark in Crieff. Although designed by Stevenson, it was Robert Ewan, a Glasgow architect, and Hew Miller, the factor at Ochtertyre, who supervised the construction. Built of Alloa stone with exterior woodwork made from teak, the total construction cost at the time was around £5,000.
Originally constructed as a Free Church with seating for 800 people, it became the South United Free Church in 1900. In 1926 a memorial window to G Strathairn was added to the vestibule by Douglas Strachan, depicting scenes from The Pilgrim’s Progress. In 1929 Sir Robert Lorimer made minor alterations and additions, including a new stone communion table.
Around the time of its closure in 1964, it was known as the South and Monzievaird Church of Scotland. Afterwards it became an antiques shop and craft centre, but had latterly been listed on a Buildings at Risk register, before being purchased by Daniel Webster.
Many original features will be retained, including the stain glass windows, oak beams and wooden bannisters. It is hoped that the church spire will be incorporated into a ‘truly stunning and unique’ apartment design. An original balcony at the rear of the building will also be retained.
Subject to planning consent, work on site will begin later in the year.
Daniel Webster, MD of Webster Group, said, “This historic building will now be retained for future generations as a unique place in which to live in Crieff. The apartments will be truly impressive when completed, with an estimated starting price at the development of around a quarter of a million pounds. We want to do justice to this local landmark by creating top end, spacious abodes which will effortlessly blend old with new, whilst paying homage to the history and heritage of the building.
“We’re known under our Webster Homes banner for a very high specification throughout, coupled with immaculate finishing. Churches like this are extremely popular to live in nowadays for discerning buyers looking for character features, but additionally offering them every comfort of modern and contemporary living. As such, we expect this development to be very eagerly anticipated. It’s not every day you will get the opportunity to secure such a unique home in a spectacular setting like this.”