HISTORY OF UPPER ANNANDALE PARISH CHURCH
“The traveller who comes to Moffat from the north passes the awesome cavern of the Beef Tub with its swirling mists and sees in the distance the little town of Moffat snugly set below the hills on the long strath, the Mai-fad. The traveller who comes from the south by the notorious A74 turns off into Moffat with relief and finds welcome relaxation in the broad tree-lined High Street with its shops and hotels.
Of the town of Moffat it can be said that its brightest jewel is the Parish Church, dedicated to St. Andrew and set in its own spacious grounds. Although close to the heart of the town and surrounded by houses, shops and hotels, it nevertheless, rises serenely “abune them a’”.
In early Christian times there was a chapel at Auldton, the original Moffat. When the present Moffat came into existence the Parish Church, surrounded by a graveyard, was situated at the south-east of what is now the High Street. Little is known of this ancient church except that in 1177 it was transferred by Robert de Bruce to the Bishop of Glasgow, and was afterwards constituted, one of the prebends of the see. In the ‘Killing times’ it was put to the dolorous use as an overnight prison for Covenanters on their way to execution.
In 1790 the ground opposite the Black Bull Inn was gifted by James, Earl of Hopetoun, and a new parish church was built with seating for 1,000 persons. It had a spire at the top of which was affixed the Earl’s crest of the Flying Spur and, hence, was nicknamed the ‘Flying Spur Kirk’. […]
Ninety-seven years later the ‘Flying Spur Kirk’ was replaced by a new church, a little to the south of its predecessor. The first Service was held on the 23rd September, 1887, and it was dedicated to St. Andrew. At that time all the farms around Moffat on the Annandale Estate were occupied by Johnstones, so in the dedication to St. Andrew we see a change in taste as to what is right for God’s House.
The Church was built in the early English Gothic style of red sandstone from the Corncockle quarry. The architect was Mr. John Starforth, Edinburgh. The Church is of exceptionally fine construction, the materials and the workmanship, externally and internally, represent the best of a time when quality was at an apex. The doorway arches are finely carved and decorated, while some eighty sculptured heads from those on the archstops above the west door depicting angels to those of the gargoyle type on the turrets also adorn the building. The cost of church and manse, including furnishings and the laying out of the grounds, was £14,900. In 1932 a handsome clock with chimes was placed in the church tower as a gift from Mrs. Goldie Boag in memory of her husband who was the Minister of Tenandry in Perthshire. […]”
Ian A. Auld
Historical materials kindly provided by Moffat Museum.
In September 2023, St Andrew's Church, Moffat united with the parishes of Kirkpatrick Juxta and Wamphray to form the united parish of Upper Annandale Parish Church.
The 'Flying Spur Kirk'
For more information on the fascinating history of Moffat and St Andrew's Church building, visit Moffat Museum.
Upper Annandale Parish Church (formerly St Andrew's Church)
VISITING ST ANDREW'S CHURCH
St Andrew's Church often has 'open days' in the summer months, but can also be visited by arrangement - please contact us.
Are you on holiday, visiting friends and family or new to the area - or simply want to see what St Andrews is all about? Why not join us for one of our services? All are most welcome.