41 High Street, Lochee, Dundee. DD2 3AP
“To God alone is known the full and wondrous record of all the good achieved in Lochee as the result of the opening of the Immaculate Conception, St Mary’s Lochee”
Those words were written by Bishop William Andrew Hart on the occasion of St Mary's Centenary in 1966.
St Mary’s (Immaculate Conception) is a grade-A listed building, designed by architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom and opened in 1866. It was Dundee’s third Roman Catholic Church.
The Historic Environment Scotland page for St Mary’s notes “It is a remarkable gothic revival church and asymmetrical presbytery. … Hansom was one of a few noted English Roman Catholic architects of the Pugin school.”
The 150th anniversary of St Mary’s (Immaculate Conception) was celebrated on Friday 13th May 2016. Here is an extract from the Dunkeld Diocese page on that celebration.
"Lochee is a bustling suburb of Dundee nowadays but its inhabitants are fiercely proud of their locality ( it was once a separate village) and even today still speak of “going in to Dundee”. The presence of the Catholic community has done its fair share in forging the character of this local community. Prior to the 1830s there is no record of there being any Catholics in the village at all, but if we jump ahead a few years we discover that with an increase of prosperity brought by industrialisation in Dundee, industrialists of that period even chartered boats to bring Irish workers over to their factories and so the Jute Mills of Dundee and Lochee were soon filled with workers and soon Lochee would boast of an area called “Tipperary”.
By 1847 there were 200 Catholics in the village of Lochee and district. They had no Church or place of worship and had to walk the two miles or so into Dundee to attend Sunday Mass in St Andrew’s Church in the Nethergate, come snow, rain or sunshine. Soon a Chapel was available for them in the newly acquired property of Wellburn, much nearer home. However soon this Chapel too became too small as the Catholic population kept on increasing. And so to cut a long story short, we must mention a certain Fr Davidson who worked seriously hard and collected funds for a new Chapel in Lochee. It fell to his successor Fr McKerrell to continue this work, with great success, when this beautiful Church designed by the famous Architect Joseph Hansom (who is well-known for having also designed the Hansom Cab) was finally opened on 13th May 1866."