Barony and St James' Place Church, Albany Street


Built 1859-1862
Known as (in chronological order, with denomination) St Mary's (Free Church of Scotland)
St Mary's (United Free Church of Scotland)
Barony (Church of Scotland)
Barony and St James' Place (Church of Scotland)
Present use Demolished. Site now offices. Manse remains.
Address Albany Street, Edinburgh
Grid Reference NT 2583 7450
Location on 1930 Map
Modern Map www.streetmap.co.uk
Notes The Broughton area of Edinburgh had one of the highest concentrations of church buildings in the city. Seven are shown in the 1930 map above, and there were thirteen within 300 metres of the church under discussion here.
St Mary's Free was built for a Free Church of Scotland congregation which had split in 1843 from St Mary's (Church of Scotland) in Bellevue Crescent, 1/4 mile to the NW. Originally meeting in a building in Barony Street (see map above), they moved to a brand new church building at the junction of Albany Street and Broughton Street in 1862. It had been built on the site of an old quarry, and at a cost of £13,000, the Free Church was very proud of it. There was a tower, 180 feet high, and situated at the west end of the church was the manse, in Albany Street.
In 1900 St Mary's came under the charge of the United Free Church of Scotland, and in 1929 it was renamed as Barony Church on transfer to the Church of Scotland. In 1933 the congregation at St James' Place Church moved out of their premises and into Barony Church, which was renamed as Barony and St James' Place Church. However the fabric of the building started to crumble, and part of the tower had to be demolished. In the 1950s the building was sold to Mutries, a theatrical costumier, and the congregation moved elsewhere. In 1983 the church was demolished, and offices were built on the site in 1984.
The building with ecclesiastical windows in the photograph below is what used to be the manse in Albany Street, and it was joined on to the rear of the church. The church itself occupied the site now occupied by the modern offices.
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Entrance to No 56 Albany Street, which was once the manse

 


Looking west along Albany Street, from the corner with Broughton Street. The manse can be seen next to the silver car, whilst the offices
beside the red car show the location of the church

 


Looking east along Albany Street, towards the corner with Broughton Street

 


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