This article appeared in the Civil Engineer And Architects Journal, Volume 27, published in 1864.

The Episcopal Church of St. Ninian, Castle Douglas

A few members of the Episcopal Church, resident in Castle Douglas and its neighbourhood, used to meet for public service in the Town Hall, which they supplied with temporary seats and other fittings suitable for carrying out their devotions. The chaplain was appointed and maintained by them; and voluntary subscriptions aided in meeting the general outlay. The congregation gradually increased, and the objections to their position induced the members to raise a further subscription in order to build a small plain church; the subscriptions were necessarily limited, when General Johnston, of Carnsalloch, undertook to build the church and to provide the additional funds for carrying out this object in a much more ornamental character, and substantial manner, than could possibly be done by the subscribers alone. In entering upon this work many additions and improvements were made - oak, principally from Carnsalloch, was substituted for stained deal; granite was more freely used and more finely worked, and stone was added internally in lieu of plaster and wood; a tower and spire took the place of a small turret; the organ recess was also added, and many improvements grew out of the munificent contribution thus afforded.

Much of the work required to be done was quite new in character and description to the builders of the district, and required the nicest finishing and attention: the whole was therefore carried out by the best workmen that could be obtained, guided by a clerk of the works, without any contract, the artificers being employed by the General, who himself superintended the work, and took the most lively interest in it; looking at the cost rather as a means to a satisfactory end, than as a mode of obtaining a large amount of building at a small amount of outlay. Such mode of proceeding has been the means of producing the most solid work in the construction, that may endure for ages to come, and at the same time displaying some of the best ornamental work of which granite is capable.

The church consists of nave, 43 feet long and 24 feet wide, chancel including the chancel-arch 24.6 feet long and 16 feet wide; tower and spire 75 feet high to the top of the vane, recess for as organ adjoining the chancel on the south side 10 feet by 8 feet, and south porch at the west end of the nave. The walls are built with whinstone in random courses, very closely level bedded. The quoins, plinth, splays, windows, copings, strings, finials, and other decorative parts, are of a compact and fine gray granite, in most places finely tooled. The internal stonework is of hard fine-grained sandstone of lightish warm colour. The roof is of oak with arched ribs, and open timber framing and oak boarding; the ribs resting upon sandstone corbels. The seats are also of oak, with framed backs and moulded cappings, the seat ends are framed with perforated tracery panels; the desk, chairs, and table are also of oak richly panelled with tracery and carving. The pulpit - not yet completed - is to be of stone, with carving and ornamental panels, to accord with the rest of the internal arrangements. The upper part of the font is of Caen stone, supported upon red granite columns and bases, with ornamental Caen stone caps, the whole is laid upon a finely-tooled grey granite plinth; it is placed in the centre of the west end of the nave. The building stands upon a large platform, considerably above the natural ground at the west end, and sloping upwards towards the east adjoining the public road.

The whole work has been finished in the most careful and solid manner, and in many places, as in the finials, cuspings, &c., exhibits an elaboration very unusual in granite. The jambs of the windows internally are lined with rough whinstone in small pieces, broken so as to display the various colours and crystals of felspar, quartz, &c., by which arrangement a very rich and pictorial effect is produced.

The building is warmed with a hot-water apparatus, the furnace being placed under the centre of the nave. The church is from the designs of Mr. Edward Buckton Lamb, architect, of Hine-street, Manchester-square, London.

Note: Although the above article states that the church is not yet completed, and that it has no pulpit, the Gentleman's Magazine for 1863 records the marriage, at St. Mary's in Dumfries, of Edward Randall, M.A., Incumbent of St. Ninian's, Castle Douglas, to Maria, youngest daughter of the Honourable Mrs Gordon, Kenmuir Castle, Kirkcudbrightshire. It seems to have been in use from as early as possible.