Kilmaronock Old Kirk was built in 1813 and served the local community until its doors finally closed in May 2017.
As this cherished building, which is steeped in history, was slowly falling into disrepair the local community set up the Kilmaronock Old Kirk Trust, in order to save the Grade-B listed classical building, preserve its long history of community use and enhance the building for today's and future generations of the Croftamie and Gartocharn Communities and as a place of historic interest for the many visitors to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
The aim is to develop Kilmaronock Church into a community venue with an arts and cultural focus for local get-togethers, performances and events, and in the longer term we will develop the glebe as a natural burial ground. The renovated old Kirk will draw on the rich history of the area and will be available for the enjoyment of the residents in the local community and for visitors.
DEVELOPING THE OLD KIRK
The Old Kirk was built in 1813 in a classical style. Inside, it consists of a large, attractive hall which benefits from abundant natural light from large round arch windows and good acoustics. A first-floor gallery offers views down into this hall. At the entrance, there is currently a small office and stairs to the first floor. The Old Kirk site also includes ample car parking and a connecting path set back from the road, as well as most of the original glebe land.
A set of costed designs has been produced as part of this business plan which include essential fabric repairs and will add the necessary facilities to transform the Old Kirk from its unusable state into a safe, attractive, welcoming and accessible community facility.
A feasibility study and community consultation was carried out by Community Enterprise in 2018-19, including on a range of potential uses for the Old Kirk.
An onsite visual survey was carried out in early 2019 by Bob Heath, a conservation architect and stone consultant specialising in historic church buildings. A report on the fabric of the building was prepared setting out an indicative ten-year programme of repairs.
Based on research into the community’s preferred uses for the building, Lee Boyd Architects produced RIBA Stage II costed plans to make the building more
suitable for a mix of activities while conserving as far as possible the appearance of the interior. The detailed design will incorporate a positive approach to energy efficiency for heating, ventilation and lighting with appropriate eco-systems being considered. Some work is required to improve the path into the building ensuring that it is fully accessible and a septic tank will also be added.