The Church in Peebles

From this notable and dominating building (generally held to be the fifth building of the Parish Church) stems the contemporary chapter of a long and sustained story.

Built in the thirteenth century Gothic style of the Scottish type to the design of William Young of London, the building carries many material links from the 1784 church, and is distinguished by its crow-stepped gables and crown tower. Spacious within, it seats 1,300 people comfortably, and is composed of a vestibule, nave, north and south aisles, and a raised chancel. There are large galleries to the north and south and rear. It is astonishing to realise that such a large and fine building was raised and initially furnished for £9,500.

The church has much to admire both without and within its walls and tells much of the history alike of Church and burgh. Those many features are too numerous to mention in the compass of this brief account. To list a few of those attractions, however, illustrates both the rich provision of its builders, and, when dated, demonstrates the sustained care and continuing generosity of succeeding generations of worshippers who have offered an uninterrupted evolution of devotion and enhancement through the past century.

Much stained-glass provides silent Scripture Lessons. Most admired is the work of Cottier of London. The great 'East' window was installed in 1887; that in the south and north galleries followed in 1893; while the twenty-two lancet windows of the aisles, and the rose window above the chancel arch, date from 1899.

Prior to the building of the present church, a harmonium had been used while the congregation worshipped in the Chambers Town Hall, and when opened, the gift was made of the present organ, built by Auguste Gern, by members of the Thorburn family. Its extensive pipework filled both sides of the chancel till 1937. Then it was removed to a newly-constructed chamber when the instrument was rebuilt by Henry Willis by the kindness of Mrs Winifred T. Mitchell. In 1972, the organ was rebuilt again and extended by Rushworth and Dreaper. 1988 saw further extension when a new choir section was housed in the south gallery and when the console was taken from the chancel and a new one placed in the south aisle.

The lectern was gifted in 1897, and the Austrian-oak pulpit replaced the original one in 1913. The Colours of the Peeblesshire Militia raised in 1808 came to the church in 1921, while war memorials were erected in 1921 and 1954. Thirteen bells were gifted in 1946 and the regular ringing of them is a much commented upon feature of the

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