St Columba

Standing out from the rest of the buildings in the square, St Columba's is the rather grand permanent home to several Presbyterian and Congregational meetings, the first founded near the river in 1662 by early Nonconformist Dissenters.

About this church

The present church, formerly known as the ‘Square Pres’, was built in 1857 by celebrated local architect John Dobson. It has a two storey central block, built of ashlar sandstone under a slate roof in the Palladian style.

Above the arcaded first floor is a dentilled cornice and balustrade parapet, and there are sandstone chimneys at both ends. The central door is raised up three steps and recessed under a canopy. The brick wings, looking very domestic in comparison with the central block, were built slightly later. The east wing, rebuilt in 1926, comprises the church halls, whilst the west wing was converted into apartments in the early 21st century. Railings facing the Square were reinstated in the late 20th century.

The church was sensitively reordered in 2007, when pews were replaced with upholstered chairs in the ground floor area, and access throughout the buildings was greatly improved.

Light filled and quite spacious, the interior has galleries on three sides, standing on iron columns. Their original wooden pews are still in place in the galleries.

Decorative organ pipes (installed in 1884) dominate the front of the worship area. Behind them are the speakers for a three manual digital organ installed in 2015.

There are six stained glass windows, four of which were transferred from the former ‘Scotch Church’ in Howard Street in 1949. The other two, slightly later, are by northeast designer Leonard Evetts.

There are war memorials and memorial windows within the church.
Some of the church furniture is by Robert Thompson of Kilburn, featuring his trademark mice.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Non-accessible toilets in church
  • Wifi

Other nearby churches

Christ Church

Originally attached to the medieval community of Tynemouth Priory, the first parish church of Tynemouth stood within the walls of Tynemouth Castle.

St George

Some call it the Cathedral at the coast, a beacon to local people with its high spire and spectacular architecture.

St Paul

The church was built in 1864, paid for by the fourth Duke of Northumberland and designed by Anthony Salvin renowned architect of the romantic period.

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