In 1903, the congregation of St George’s Free Church decided to replace their church. A site at the corner of Gordon’s Lane and Orchard Place was acquired for £3,000 and old weavers’ cottages demolished to make way for the new building. William Daniel McLennan, a young architect in the congregation at the time, was commissioned to undertake the work. The foundation stone was laid by Lady Smiley of Gallowhill on 2nd June 1906 and on 2nd May 1907 the church was dedicated. The building cost £9,000.
The architect’s brief was for a church in the Gothic Cathedral Style, to seat 800 and with halls to accommodate 450. McLennan’s concept was to marry the desired Gothic with his own Art Nouveau style. His achievement has led Dr. Frank Walker, author and university lecturer, to consider the church “the most significant Art Nouveau church in Europe.” St. Matthew’s is a category A-listed building of national importance and a comparison with Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Queen’s Cross Church will reward those with architectural interests.
Paisley's hidden architectural gem
Pailsey's hidden architectural gem