Glenaray and Inveraray Parish Church, an A-listed building in the Inveraray Conservation Area, sits in the Diamond at the top of the town between the Royal Bank of Scotland and Inveraray Jail, with the George Hotel just below it.
The church has just been awarded £41,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with Historic Scotland describing the church as being of outstanding national importance as the centrepiece of Inveraray.
The town’s layout and early designs of the church were created by William Adam circa 1748, although the church as it stands was designed by Robert Mylne and built between 1792 and 1802.
The church is considered unique in Scotland and possibly the UK, in being designed and built as a ‘double kirk’ to accommodate two congregations.
The funding will enable the necessary major repairs to its roof, including re-slating, lead repairs, the renewal of rainwater goods and the provision of new conservation roof lights to facilitate access for future maintenance.
Roof timbers will be inspected and treated as necessary. Wall repairs will also be undertaken and will include stone repair and replacement, re-rendering and re-pointing. There will also be minor window and door repairs.
The church already offers some heritage learning opportunities, including tours, a leaflet and a website containing historic information and an exhibition on the church, its architect and the churches’ importance in the setting of this planned town.
During the repairs, the church will provide school visits, update the leaflet and website and expand the historical exhibition to include more information about Inveraray as Scotland’s first planned town and the important architects who worked there – Mylne, Adam, et al.
Local MSP, Michael Russell has welcomed the award and the forthcoming renewal of the building, saying: ‘This is fantastic news, not only for the congregation and the fabric of the building but also for visitors and those with an interest in the history and heritage of the area. I am looking forward to seeing the updated website and visiting to view the exhibition. As Scotland’s first planned town they have a real story to tell, one which only they can and they should be rightly proud of that.’