Largoward Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 46940 07700, map


St. Andrews Road


Largoward Parish Church is a small, rural church, built in 1835 as a chapel of ease, an additional church in a parish to cater for a growing or dispersed population. It is now linked with St Monans Parish Church, to the south-east. The church is located at the northern edge of the small rural village of Largoward, a few miles south of St Andrews. The village is surrounded by open farmland and areas of woodland.

J Dowling 2017

Description (exterior)

The church is situated in small, walled grounds, with a gravel area for parking and mature trees and shrubs. The church is a rectangular structure with the principal elevation the south wall. There is an entrance porch attached to the east gable and a small session house at the west end. The south frontage is faced with ashlar sandstone blocks, while the other elevations are of whinstone rubble with sandstone surrounds. The roof of the nave, session house and porch are all slated.

The south elevation has four large, rectangular sash and case windows to maximise the natural light coming into the church. The east gable has a small ball finial on the apex and a rectangular window at gallery level, with the hipped-roof porch below. The porch has a rectangular doorway in the south wall (the main entrance into the church) and a very small rectangular window in the east wall. The west gable has a matching window at gallery level with the lean-to session house building below. This has a small rectangular door in the south wall and small rectangular windows. On top of the west gable is a fine birdcage bellcote, with ashlar uprights and ball finial. The bell and its metal supports and mechanism can be seen within the bellcote. The north elevation of the church is largely hidden from view and has no windows. Half way along the elevation is a lean-to structure with double doors in the east face. This was likely a hearse-house originally, but may have been re-used as a boiler room or store at a later date.

J Dowling 2017

Description (interior)

The impressive interior of Largoward Parish Church is almost entirely original and features an extensive gallery and box pews. Entry into the church is via the porch at the east end and this also contains the stone stairs up into the gallery. The focal point is the tall pulpit, centrally placed against the south wall and the pews in the nave and gallery above are arranged to face it.

The nave consists of rows of pews divided into sections and the sanctuary along the south wall. The pine pews are fairly simple but appear to be original. They have side panels to divide them into sections (similar to box pews) and there are wooden foot rests. A small passage leads to a door in the north wall and this is likely where coffins were brought in to the church from the external hearse-house. The sanctuary is raised from the nave by a step and the tall pulpit is the main focal point. It is placed between the central windows of the south elevation and is reached by a small stair on the west side. In front is a small wooden communion table and elders' chairs. A more recent wood-panelled organ is placed nearby. The impressive horse-shoe type gallery occupies the east, north and west walls, with five angled wooden fronts facing the sanctuary below. Access is through a door from the stairwell in the north-east corner and the wooden pews in the gallery are divided into five main sections. The plastered ceiling of the church is barrel-vaulted, which maximises the height in the galleries and allows maximum light into the church through the gable windows.

J Dowling 2017

People / Organisations:

Reverend John MillerClergyman1860Minister at Largoward Church at the time that new parish of Largoward erected. Minister at Largoward Parish Church at the time that the new parish of Largoward was erected.
Miss Jennifer McDonaldResearcher2007Assisted the Field Officer by researching and providing information on this site.
Church of ScotlandDenomination1835-NOW


  • Church: Build/construction (1835)
    Originally built as a chapel of ease in the parish of Kilconquhar.
  • Hearse house: Build/construction (1835)
  • Session house: Build/construction (1835)
  • Porch: Build/construction (1835)
  • Church: Custodial Transfer (1860)
    A new parish - the parish of Largoward - was erected quoad sacra.
  • Church: Link (1949)
    A link was established with Cameron.
  • Church: Link (1975)
    A link was established with St. Andrews.
  • Church: Link (1983)
    Past links were terminated and a link was established with St Monans in 1983.

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 8646
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 112593
Petition for Erection of Largoward Parish - HardcopyReference: CH2/1560/9
Decree of Disjunction and Erection, Largoward Parish, 1860 - HardcopyReference: CH2/1560/10
Records of Deeds and Securities, Largoward Parish, 1860 - HardcopyReference: CH2/1560/11
Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-025-664-CImage: Edwina Proudfoot
Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-025-664-C
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4702

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 303