Cottiers Theatre

(Dowanhill Parish Church, Dowanhill United Presbyterian Church)

A theatre venue, bar and restaurant on Hyndland Street in the Dowanhill district in Glasgow's West End, Cottiers occupies the former Dowanhill Parish Church which fell from use in 1984, was bought by a charitable trust and opened as a theatre the same year. The church was built as Dowanhill United Presbyterian Church in 1865-66 by the architect William Leiper (1839 - 1916) with notable frescos, bold interior decoration and stained glass windows by Daniel Cottier (1838-91). It became Dowanhill Parish Church when the United Presbyterian Church merged with the Church of Scotland in 1929. The Neo-Gothic style building features a fine hammerbeam ceiling and a tapering 59.4-m / 195-foot spire that forms a prominent landmark. It is now Category-A listed.

The restoration of the former church hall was completed by 1992 but restoration of the church continues. Between 2004 and 2012, the conservation architect Nicholas Groves-Raines (b. 1940) assisted with further repairs, restoring Cottier's decorative scheme and creating a new undercroft that provides much needed facilities. The 'Father Willis' organ, originally installed in the late 1870s, has also been restored.

The venue hosts live music, comedy and plays, and is available to hire for weddings and corporate events, with outside garden space to the west. It is owned and run by the Four Acres Charitable Trust, formed in 1983 to acquire the church and responsible for the raising of more than £5 million which has enabled its restoration. The Trust has extended its interests to create the Websters venue in the former Lansdowne Parish Church on Great Western Road.

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