Designating Boghall Parish Church, Boghall

Closed 10 May 2022

Opened 12 Apr 2022

Results updated 31 May 2022

We asked

From 12 April 2022 to 10 May 2022, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sought views on our proposal to designate Boghall Parish Church as a category C listed building.

Built in 1963-65 to the designs of Wheeler and Sproson, the building is a visually striking and architecturally distinctive example of a post-war parish church. The hyperbolic paraboloid (saddle-shaped) roof structure is a rare survival in Scotland and its innovative design reflects the optimism and ambition of the period. The interior is also of special interest, showing high-quality materials and modern detailing.

Further details can be accessed on our Heritage Portal

You said

We received five responses at consultation, four of which were in favour of listing the church. The church was described as a unique and remarkable building that enhances the local community. Its unusual design was seen to reflect the modernisation of the area, as it moved from traditional local industries to manufacturing. Many comments noted that it was an important part of the local heritage. 

The comment that was made against the listing was concerned about the roof structure, noting that these types of roofs are not suited to the UK climate. The response from West Lothian Council planning authority provided additional details about building warrants related to changes to the church. Further support for the listing was also given by the MSP for Linlithgow, as part of a press release.

We did

After considering the comments received during the consultation, we have now listed Boghall Parish Church at category C.  We have made some minor changes as a result of the comments received - our assessment and the listed building record have been amended to reflect the date that the bell-cote was removed, according to the building warrant records supplied by West Lothian Council.

Listed building record for Boghall Parish Church

Our Report of Handling provides more detail on the comments received. This can be downloaded from our Heritage Portal.

More Information

Our historic environment is always changing. Listing does not prevent change, but it does allow for a structure’s special character to be taken into account when changes are proposed.

Listing does not mean that Boghall Parish Church should stay as it is forever, or even that it must always remain a church - many buildings can be repurposed for different uses.

You can find out more about listing in our booklet, Scotland’s Listed Buildings or find out more on our website: 

Our website also has more detail about the Listed Building Consent (LBC) and Conservation Area Consent (CAC) processes, as well as information on how to apply. There is additional guidance in our Managing Change series of publications.

Overview

We are proposing to list Boghall Parish Church, near Bathgate – an innovative and striking Modernist church with an unusual saddle-shaped roof. It was built 1963-65 to serve the new local authority housing development of Boghall, near Bathgate.

Boghall Parish Church is a notable example of a post-war church that used modern materials, technology and experimental plans to create bold new forms that redefined church design for the established church.

The bold, saddle-shaped roof is an innovative feature, and surviving examples of this type of roof are very rare in Scotland, or the UK. The church was designed by Wheeler and Sproson, who were one of the leading architectural firms in Scotland during the second-half of the 20th century.

We have launched this public consultation to gather views on listing this historic building in recognition of its special architectural and historic interest. Find out more about listed buildings.

Members of the public are encouraged to send in their views and comments. Email your comments about this case or contact us via the Heritage Portal

Find out what comments we consider and what happens next in our guide.