A View of the Scotch Church, from the Gate of Tank Square
Artist: Fraser, James Baillie
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This is plate 12 of James Baillie Fraser's 'Views of Calcutta and its Environs'. Fraser (1783-1856) arrived in Calcutta in 1814 and in six years produced animated sketches of the busy city, published later as a collection of twenty-four superbly aquatinted plates.
He included in his collection five views of Tank Square. This is one of two that provides us with a view of St Andrew's church in the north-east corner of the square, on the site of the demolished Old Court House. A congregation of the Church of Scotland was formed here in 1815 by the Reverend James Bryce. The government supplied the site and private money was employed to build a kirk. In the meantime, the Exchange Building across the square was used as a church.
The kirk was ready to worship in March 1818. Fraser's view from the eastern gate of Tank Square shows "the Doric southern portico crowned by its handsome spire ... Behind the church may be seen part of the colonnade of the premises of the coachbuilders James Stewart and Company".