The History of Leith

March 19, 2010


If you have recently passed the church building facing on to Pilrig Street you will have in all probability noticed the improvement to the glazing of the 12 lancet windows. Over the past few years a series of deliberate acts of vandalism have been made to the stained glass windows. Many years ago the Congregational Board had lexan protective glazing fitted to try and prevent damage and as the years passed, the lexan has become “milky” and discoloured. On Remembrance Sunday last year, the second lancet window in Pilrig Street was badly damaged by a vandal and the Board resolved to have all the windows on this elevation re-glazed with heavy duty commercial glass in an effort to prevent any further damage to the windows. Stage 1 of this work is now complete and the 12 lancets have been re-glazed and what a transformation. Clear glass now allows the windows to be seen and also for those attending worship in the Sanctuary a great improvement. Stage 2 of the work involves reglazing the large circular window adjacent to the lancet windows together with the 6 windows situated in between each set of two lancets and this should start in the coming weeks.
The windows are of significant importance to the people of Scotland, having been installed in 1863 and designed by Daniel Cottier, now recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities in the 1800s in the design of stained glass and there is significant evidence which indicates that the commission to design the Pilrig windows was his first ever commission which makes their importance invaluable. Further research is presently in hand concerning his work and we await developments.

Stuart W. Sime
Clerk to the Congregational Board.

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