The Architects of Saint Mary’s church were reported in the centenary brochure of the parish as having been a famous London firm, Goldie and Childe, the same firm who were later responsible for Saint Mungo’s in Townhead.
There is only one problem with that: Mr Childe of Goldie and Childe was born in 1943 – a year after the opening of the church. It seems unlikely therefore that he had much to do with the building of Saint Mary’s! The firm Goldie and Childe did an immense amount of work later in 1877. This perhaps is the origin of the mix up. More research is underway as regards the architects of Saint Mary’s, but for now it is a mystery.
The church was built in classic style as a matter of simple economy and the exterior of the church is almost unchanged from the day it opened on Monday 15th August 1842.
Interior of the Church
The interior on the other hand has undergone significant change at various times in the past 167 years.
The ceiling of the church was grand and ornate, but in 1865 it was noticed that the south wall of the church was several inches out of line and required repair. The repairs were being planned when without warning the entire ceiling of the church fell in during the night.
The new ceiling was much less ornate and it was supported with pillars. A gallery was added, thus taking away the great unsupported expanse of ceiling which had been a feature of the church.
The organ seen in the church today was introduced to the church a few years after these alterations.
Previously the liturgy was served by an orchestra. The vast organ which can still be seen today still functions, having recently had a major repair and refurbishment. The organ is currently valued at £330,000 – though it is not for sale.