St Stephen’s Church for sale for over £500,000

St Stephen's Church dominates the Stockbridge skyline. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
St Stephen's Church dominates the Stockbridge skyline. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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An iconic city centre landmark seen in dozens of films and TV shows is in the process of being sold for a bargain price.

St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge, which was built in 1828 and has been Grade A listed since 1970, is currently under offer after being put up for sale by the Church of Scotland for offers over £500,000.

That is less than the price of many smaller properties in the area, and is considered a bargain for the three-level building, which was designed by celebrated Edinburgh architect William Henry Playfair and offers prospective buyers a ­usable floor area of 634sq m on the first floor, 522.17sq m on the ground floor and 302sq m in the basement.

A Church of Scotland spokesperson said: “St Stephen’s Church in Edinburgh was put on the market earlier this year as the building was surplus to the ­requirements of the local congregation. It is currently under offer, but the sale is subject to conditions and has not been finalised. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this point.”

The tower of the church is home to the longest pendulum in Europe and the interior and exterior of the building can be seen in several television and film productions including Shallow Grave, Rebus, 16 Years of Alcohol and Mary Riley, which starred Julia Roberts.

It also featured in New Town, a short-lived sitcom by Book Group and Fresh Meat writer Annie Griffin, which ironically featured a storyline where property developers purchased the building so it could be converted into flats.

The Church of Scotland said the building has “potential for conversion to a number of alternative uses including as an assembly hall/meeting room, auction house, dance school or theatre, nursery/playcentre or other leisure or commercial purposes, subject to obtaining all necessary consents”.

However, it is understood that St Stephen’s is unlikely to be purchased for conversion into residential flats, as the interior would have to be completely remodelled.

A spokesman for the ESPC said: “To convert the church for a number of purposes – be they commercial or residential – would require some investment and would also be subject to planning permission being obtained. That said, we’re clearly talking about a sizable property with excellent character in a highly desirable area of Edinburgh, close to the city centre, so it’s likely to attract a good deal of interest from potential buyers.”

William Henry Playfair, who died in 1857, and is buried in Dean Cemetery, designed several classic structures around the Capital, including the City Observatory, the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal College of Surgeons.