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We have a wealth of information about hidden architectural gems of all kinds in locations throughout Scotland.

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Argyll & Bute

Cardross Parish Church

A medieval church existed in Cardross since 1226 and in 1329 the body of Robert the Bruce was brought there, before its burial in Dunfermline Abbey. A new church was built in 1644 and replaced in 1827 by the church which destroyed by a bomb in May 1941. After the war the present building opened in 1872 as a Free Church was adapted and became Cardross Parish Church. Come and enjoy our stained and etched glass windows – Hannah Frew Paterson’s beautiful Cardross Embroidered Panels and Sarah Sumsion Silk Hangings. Visit the Bible Garden in the Church Hall grounds and the Easter garden planted and cared for by the Messy Church families. Add a short prayer to the Prayer Cairn. Children of all ages will enjoy following the Church Trail to find other hidden parts of our church’s life and history. You will even have the opportunity to plant a spring bulb.

Argyll & Bute

Clarendon House

Clarendon, or Torwood Villa as it was originally named, was built in the mid 19th century. The two extensions you can see on either side of the original building were designed by William Leiper, the famous Scottish architect, in 1888 and 1891. During the 20th century, Clarendon became the home of the Rickey family and later the Singer family, until, in 1937, the building was bought by the Girls School Company and was used as part of St. Bride’s school in a variety of ways, ranging from a boarding house to classroom accommodation. During the Second World War, it was commandeered by the Royal Navy and Wrens were based here for 5 years. From 1959, it operated as the Prep department and in 1977, when St. Bride’s joined with Larchfield School to form Lomond School, Clarendon continued as the Junior Department, which it still is today.

Argyll & Bute

Dunoon Burgh Hall

A story of community spirit and sheer determination epitomises the restoration of the town’s iconic cultural building. This 1874 B-listed building was the first theatre in Argyll and for a hundred years the centre of cultural life in Dunoon. Latterly the building fell into disrepair and unused for a quarter of a century, before the threat of demolition ignited a community campaign to rescue it. In 2009 it was bought for £1 by the John McAslan Family Trust and the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust was established. The building operated for six years as a work-in-progress venue, with enormous volunteer support, while the money was raised to undertake vital renovations. Dunoon Burgh Hall re-opened in June 2017 as a cultural and arts venue following a full programme of refurbishment.

Argyll & Bute

Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre

Helensburgh’s former Clyde Street School was transformed into a stateof-the-art facility on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council. The Clyde Street School building was designed in 1903 by Helensburgh architect and artist Alexander Nisbet Paterson, and was built in a Scottish Revival style with 17th century Renaissance details. The challenge of the construction project was to seamlessly combine the old B-listed building with the new. Works completed in June 2015, incorporate alterations to the annexe building and janitor’s house, a new extension (designed by council architects), construction of a new sea wall at the rear of the site, installation of new car parking facilities and landscaped grounds. A range of new community spaces, both inside and out, are now available for use - including a marriage room, gallery space and conference facilities. Tours will take place at 10am and 11am on 23rd and 24th September. Booking is essential via the following link: https://hlciviccentre.eventbrite.co.uk

Argyll & Bute

Helensburgh Parish Church

Helensburgh Parish Church is located in Colquhoun Square in the centre of Helensburgh. The present building was erected in 1853 at a cost of £4,500 to serve an increasing population. The architect was James Hay, Liverpool, to a design which won prizes at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The interior has been reordered several times, most notably after a disastrous fire in 1924 which left only the walls standing. The rebuilding provided a church with an ‘Arts & Crafts’ feel, and this, with some later alterations, is what we have today—a comfortable building, well suited to the worship of God and the contemplation of his beauty, as well as providing an adaptable performance venue. Of the stained glass windows there is one dedicated to Andrew Bonar Law and his Wife Annnie, and another to John Logie Baird, all are well worth viewing.

Argyll & Bute

Rothesay Pavilion

Recently named as one of Scotland’s ten favourite buildings of the last century, Rothesay Pavilion has been the cultural centre of the island community of Bute off the West Coast of Scotland. Built in 1938 by architect J.A. Carrick, this Grade A listed building is a fabulous example of 1930s International Modernism akin to the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, which opened just three years before. The Pavillion has served Bute’s residents and visitors as everything from grand ballroom and concert hall to wedding venue, civic centre, family entertainment venue and sports hall. Over the years it has hosted tea dances and big band concerts, community pantomimes, rock concerts, conferences, arts festivals, football and boxing tournaments, horticultural shows, birthday parties, political conferences and conventions. After eight decades of continuous and sustained use on its seafront location, this iconic edifice is showing its age, and in 2000 Rothesay Pavilion was placed on the 'buildings at risk' register requiring complete restoration and refurbishment to ensure its future. In 2013 a rescue plan was launched by owners Argyll and Bute Council and a new ‘Rothesay Pavilion’ charity formed to assist with the restoration project and take over the management and programming of the building on completion. The Pavilion finally closed its doors to the public in September 2015 to allow for a complicated and phased refurbishment project to commence which is due for completion in 2019. Tours will take place at 10am and 1pm. Booking is essential, to book please contact ann@rothesaypavilion.co.uk

Argyll & Bute

The Tower

THE roots of Helensburgh’s now closed St Columba Church sprang from a group of Dissenters who met fortnightly in the Baths Hotel for Sunday worship, often with a visiting minister. The hotel was owned by a prominent member of the group, Mrs Margaret Bell, widow of Henry Bell, first Provost of Helensburgh, after raising funds, The architects, Messrs. Brown and Carrick of Glasgow were employed to build the dissenters church with the foundation stone being laid on March 11 1845. The Church was purchased in recent years by a local entrepreneur and opened as a charitable arts centre for the benefit of all the community. The Church is now home to The Tower Digital Arts Centre, offering a variety of community initiatives all while providing new release cinema on your doorstep!

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