Catholic Church Kilsyth

St Patrick's Old Hall - Once the United Presbyterian Relief Chuch

In February 2012 the demolition of St Patrick's Old Halls started and by June there was nothing left except and old stone cross and the name of 'St Patrick's Church Hall' cast in concrete - both of which had been saved for posterity. During the demolition it became apparent that the drab gray roughcast which covered the outside of the building for generations, had hidden an impressive blond sandstone building underneath which had originally been built as the United Presbyterian Relief Church in the 1770's. The congregation of the Relief Church then moved out after 120 years in January 1893 to what we know today as The Anderson Church. The Relief Church and Mansfield House had been built on grounds known previously as the 'Kiln Yard' prior to 1770.

A sketch of the interior of the United Presbyterian Relief Church exists on page 18 of the book 'A History of Kilsyth and a Memorial of Two Lives' by Rev Robert Anderson published in 1901. Original features of that church such as the full height windows behind to the left and right the pulpit became visible during the demolition - they had been bricked up and plastered over but remained encased within the walls.

Later in the 1890's the United Presbyterian Relief Church building was sold and became a Variety Hall and then a Cinema. In the 1930's St Patrick's bought over the site and constructed a suite of halls by adding to the building in a number of ways and constructing a lesser hall further down UP lane, adjacent to what was the Congregational Church.. At one stage in the 1930's there was a fire and extensive renovation works became necessary. A snooker room with 3 tables was added in the 1940's and in the 1970's a cafeteria and kitchen was built above the main hall.

Just after the millennium, the halls were used for the last time as the cost of maintenance of the building had become prohibitive for the Parish of St Patrick's to bear. Planning permission was granted for a new hall and after years of fund raising, St Patrick's was able to commence construction of a new hall in the summer of 2012 after the demolition of a building, the main portion of which had stood on the site of the old 'Kiln Yard' for 230 years!

Sadly, but necessarily, another piece of Kilsyth's architectural and historical heritage is gone.


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The meeting room beneath the stage.

 

Outside the lesser hall the stairs to the snooker room and the way to the kitchen

 

The Lesser Hall. The floor is too dangerous to walk on floorboards collapse underfoot and mushrooms wet rot grow in the carpet.

 

The snooker room - Table 1 has already gone. Table 2 and the pool table were recovered by the demolition contractor and refurbished and sold to defray the demolition costs.

 

Mess everywhere and a smell of dampness and rot.

The ticket booth next to the ladies toilet in the main hall - a throwback to the days when the hall was a cinema!



The main hall - the paint is pealing and water ingress has rought much damage. The old gray chairs are stacked ready for recycling

 

The cafeteria - the ceiling tiles are falling in

 

Stairs to the cafeteria - the carpet is soaking and the floor boards are rotten and give way

 

The door to the cafeteria shows how much the building has deteriorated

 

The view from above - not often seen.

 

Wear and tear is obvious

 

The boiler room chimney is missing a pot

 

Gutters are rusty, windows broken and roof is leaking

 

The old stone cross still stands and will be saved

 

The internal demolition work is well underway

 

The final view of the Old Halls

 

A blocked up doorway becomes visible for the first time in decades

 

Removing the cladding exposes the original interior wall surfaces - blocked up windows become visible.

 

The last view of the interior - the wooden floor has been lifted and the walls cut back to the stone

 

The building was roughcast but the sandstone underneath is blonde - it must have been a lovely looking building once

 


 

The roof is off the snooker hall

 


 







The boiler room and the lesser hall

 

The upstairs cafeteria above the main hall

 

The main hall is now gutted

 

The kitchen area

The walls are about to come down

The interior is gone and we are left with a shell

The main hall gone - the gable of the lesser hall is exposed.

 

 

..job almost done the hall is now a pile of rubble!

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God BlessYou!