Laying of Foundation Stone - Jordanhill Church


8 October 1904




In November 1854 a communion roll was drawn for the original church which was subsequently to become our present church. That original church building stood on the west side of Knightswood Road opposite the present Knightswood Secondary School. By 1898 the building was in a state of collapse due to underground mine workings and the congregation resolved to find a new site for a new church.   The photograph shows the north elevation of the old church



As might be expected a Building Committee was formed to steer the construction of a new church In 1901 a bazaar was held to raise funds and a brochure was produced which showed an artist's impression of the new church. A site was chosen on the south side of Anniesland Road immediately east of its junction with Helensburgh Drive, and the bazaar raised just over £1000. At that time the congregation had only 200 members so the sum raised was really amazing.


Shortly afterwards the committee decided to change the site from Anniesland Road to the present site, and a year later it was reported that Mrs Parker Smith had given the chosen site to the church free of charge.     The site was formerly occupied by Woodend Cottage as is shown on this extract from the Ordnance Survey map of 1895





Woodend Cottage was the home of the manager of the brickworks in Crow Road and the photograph on the left is taken from the archives of Jordanhill Church.


A sub-committee called the "Edifice Committee" was formed in August 1904 whose remit was to supervise the building work for the new church which was to cost £4100. By this date the sum raised (or promised) had risen to £2700, so the deficit stood at only £1400.


Just prior to the laying of the foundation stone, it was decided that a copy of the Glasgow Herald and the Free Church Monthly should be deposited in the foundation casket. It was also decided that 10 shillings (50 new pence) was to be distributed among the workmen employed on the building "in lieu of the usual foundation pint".


On 29th September 1904 the "Minister and Office Bearers of Jordanhill United Free Church" issued invitations for the laying of the memorial stone on "Saturday Afternoon 8th October at Three o'clock" (sic).


Glasgow Herald, Monday 10 October 1904

The following article has been extracted from page 11 of the Glasgow Herald dated Monday 10 October 1904. By coincidence, on page 8 of the same paper, there is a report of the Coming of Age Party of Mr A H Parker-Smith on the same evening. The party was held in Temple Parish Church Hall. Later in the evening there was a display of fireworks in the grounds of Jordanhill House (now the College grounds). 



Church Memorial Stone Laid at Jordanhill

The memorial stone of the new church in Woodend Drive for Jordanhill United Free congregation was laid on Saturday afternoon by Mr Archibald Hamilton Parker Smith, younger of Jordanhill. Mr Frederick L. M. Moiré presided, and there was a large gathering of ladies and gentlemen. After prayer had been offered by Dr Henry Bremner, Rev. Archibald Livingstone the minister of Jordanhill United Free Church, made a. statement with regard to the proceedings which led to the building of the new church.

Several years ago the yielding of the foundation caused the building to become dilapidated and unsafe, and in consequence the minister at that time, the late Rev. G D R Munro. and the congregation decided to erect a new church, not only for present necessities, but also with a view to meeting the wants of a new and growing district. The cost was estimated at £4100, and of this somewhat over £2100 had been paid and promised. The tenure of the site, given free by Mrs Parker Smith was quite unaffected by the recent decision of the House of Lords. As they would observe, little money was being spent on ornamentation.

The Chairman, after intimating apologies for absence from Sir James Bell: Sir C. Renshaw, Dr Ross Taylor, &c., said he took it as a happy augury for the church that the proceedings had been favoured with good weather. Although they valued sunshine still they could not do without clouds and rain. Fogs, however, were somewhat of men's making. When they thought of their dear Church they remembered it had its clouds, but it seemed there was also something of the man-made fog there also, which he hoped would soon pass away. (Applause)

The memorial casket was then deposited by Mrs G D R Munro, after which the stone was lowered into position. Mr Parker Smith, younger, having performed the ceremony of laying the memorial stone, was presented with a silver trowel and mallet from the contractors.

Several speeches were afterwards delivered. The Hon J Parker Smith MP said that he was glad that church and congregation had shown how it could meet the changing needs of the times, and could rise to the needs of a wholly different state of circumstances. He spoke in eulogistic terms of the work done during the ministry of the late Mr Munro, remarking, amid applause, that the street beside the new church would be known in future as "Munro Street," out of memory to him.

Dr Ross. referring to the fact that the foundations of the former church had been undermined, said a number of them there no doubt felt that about a thousand Churches in Scotland had their foundations undermined by workers of some sort. He hoped that in the course of a few months they would feel that the foundations were as safe as those of the building behind them.

Votes of thanks were afterwards accorded"


The church building had no hall when it was built and it was only two thirds its present size (the west wing beyond the line of pillars was added in 1923). This extract from the Ordnance Survey map of 1913 shows the church and a small hall to the north, but it should be noted that this hall was added in 1907 to replace the very small hall-cum-vestry built at the time of the opening in 1905.   It is also recorded that the gallery was not built at the time of opening. Unfortunately the original drawings are lost and record copies which should have been available from the Dean of Guild archives are also missing. This is particularly sad because there is no record of the location of the Memorial Stone and a thorough search at the time of the 75th Anniversary Exhibition in 1980 (and again in 2004) failed to uncover it. It is possible that the stone was located on the outside wall behind the altar which is now completely built over by the new halls.


The programme for the stone laying event stated that after the memorial casket had been deposited by Mrs Munro (the widow of the former minister), the contractors were to present Mr Archibald Parker Smith with a trowel and mallet to enable him to lay the stone. The silver trowel is still in the Church archives, but there is no record of the whereabouts of the mallet. The service included the psalm "All people that on earth do dwell" and two hymns "The Church's one foundation " and "O God of Bethel"



Events to mark the Centenary


Events in 2004


Special Services

Friday 8 October,  special service in the Church to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone.

Sunday 7 November, special service of thanksgiving in the church to celebrate the drawing up of the first communion roll of Hillhead Free Church (the predecessor of Jordanhill Parish Church)



Saturday 27 November, Ceilidh in the Church Hall with the Calum Lowe Ceilidh Band.  


Events in 2005


Church Tower Repairs

During 2005 the church tower shrouded in scaffolding.   However the contractors met their timetable to complete their work and the scaffolding was removed in time for the main entrance to be used for Christmas services.

Movement of the stonework in the parapet at the top of the tower was a cause of major concern and was highlighted during a major survey of the property.   The parapet had to be dismantled and rebuilt; eroded stonework had to be replaced and stainless steel pins have been inserted to ensure no future movement. The roof of the tower was completely replaced and repairs were carried out to the louvres in the bell chamber after which the timber was painted.

The cost of this work was approximately £70,000 .but further sums are required to continue the work to the lower section of the tower.


Victoria Park Floral Display

During the summer of 2005 Glasgow City Council laid out a floral display in Victoria Park to mark the centenary.



Craft Fair

Saturday 26 February was a Craft Fair in the Church Hall including displays of wood turning, cross stitch work and sugarcraft demonstrations.


Golf Outing

This was held at Ross Priory on Friday 29 April.


Centenary Dinner

On Friday 3 June just over 100 members met in Bearsden Burgh Hall for dinner.    Two former ministers, Dr Michael Orr and Finlay Macdonald attended.


Centenary Cruise

The cruise on Loch Katrine on Saturday 4 June was attended by some 170 members.


Centenary Service

In June 1905, Jordanhill Parish Church opened its doors for the first time      On Sunday 5 June 2005 there was a Centenary Service led by Rt. Rev. David Lacy the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.   Dr Orr and Dr Macdonald (former ministers of the congregation) also took part in the service together with the present minister Colin Renwick.


Community Fete

Held on Saturday 27 August in the grounds of Jordanhill School.


Other events

In addition to the above events, the committee organised others including a Gartmore weekend, Centenary Penny Appeal. Car Rally and Treasure Hunt, 


Flower Festival

Held in the Church on Sunday 1 October

This was the final event in the Centenary Celebrations.



For more information on the Church go to their website at


Revised 28 September 2006                                                                                                                                 


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