Restoration of St Michael's Church, Linlithgow

M095 Restoration of St Michael's Church, Linlithgow

Address: The Cross, Linlithgow EH49 7AL
Date: 1894–6
Client: St Michael's Church, Linlithgow
Authorship: Authorship category 4 (Office) (Office)

Photograph of Linlithgow Church chancel from S.E.

There is ample evidence that John Honeyman took personal charge of this project. In the history of St Michael's written by John Ferguson, minister at the time, he is described as the architect 'under whose guidance the committee carried through the restoration', and in this capacity he conducted groups from the Edinburgh Architectural Association and the Glasgow Archaeological Society around the completed building. 1

Mackintosh knew St Michael's church (Linlithgow is easily reached by train from Glasgow) and he made a number of sketches of it. 2

Colour photograph of sketch by Mackintosh of E. end of St Michael's Church, LinlithgowColour photograph of sketch by Mackintosh of memorial, LinlithgowColour photograph of sketch by Mackintosh of windows, St Michael's Church, LinlithgowColour photograph of sketch by Mackintosh of tower, St Michael's Church, Linlithgow

They are undated, but are unlikely to have been done in connection with the 1894–6 restoration. Rather, they are evidence of Mackintosh's interest in early Scottish architecture and his habit of recording historic buildings in rapid but carefully observed drawings. He may have had some involvement in the work at St Michael's as a junior member of John Honeyman & Keppie's office, but there is no documentary evidence for this.

In 1898, Donald M. Stoddart, an assistant in the offiice, entered measured drawings of St Michael's in the National Competition for Schools of Art, for which he was awarded a silver medal. 3

Notes:

1: John Ferguson, Ecclesia Antiqua, or, the History of an Ancient Church (St Michael's, Linlithgow) with an Account of its Chapels, Chantries and Endowments, Edinburgh and London: Oliver & Boyd, 1905, p. 126; British Architect, 25 June 1897, p. 451, and 10 September 1897, p. 193.

2: Dublin: National Library of Ireland, PD 2011 TX, pp. 17, 24, 26; Dublin: National Library of Ireland, PD 2009 TX, p. 45.

3: British Architect, 50, 29 July 1898, p. 74.