Visit 10 of the oldest churches in Edinburgh

Edinburgh

The Scottish capital is well known for its ancient buildings and you will never be too far from a piece of history. Regardless of if you’re of religious faith or just interested in some impressive architecture, why not visit just some of the oldest churches in Edinburgh.

Greyfriars Kirk

Outside of the Edinburgh Old Town, this is one of the city’s oldest surviving buildings. Popular among ghost hunters, the cemetery at Greyfriars Kirk is believed to be haunted by the Mackenzie Poltergeist.

Old St Paul’s Scottish Episcopal Church

The current church was built in 1883, however religion can be traced back to the site much earlier. The organ at Old St Paul’s is also dated back to shortly after the church was first built, although it has undergone substantial modifications during the 90’s.

St Cuthbert’s Parish Church

It is believed a church has stood on this plot of land since 850AD. The current St Cuthbert’s Parish Church stands at the foot of the Edinburgh Castle, surrounded by greenery. Take a look at the Tiffany stained glass windows depicting the story of David and Goliath.

St Margaret’s Chapel

Believed to be the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, the small Roman building is in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle. The stain glass windows, although not originally part of the chapel, were made by Douglas Strachan in the early 90’s.

Stockbridge Parish Church

The unassuming Stockbridge Parish Church is another building standing from the 1800’s. Today several concerts are also held at the venue.

St Giles Cathedral

Dating back to the 1120’s St Giles Cathedral stands proud along the Royal Mile in Old Town. It is also home to the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle. There are over 200 memorials throughout the building. Check the website for public recitals performed by the cathedral choir.

St Columba’s-by-the-Castle

Constructed in the early to mid-1840’s is in the centre of Edinburgh. As the name would suggest, this church can be easily found when visiting Edinburgh Castle.

The Magdalen Chapel

Built between 1541 and 1544 the chapel is the headquarters of the Scottish Reformation Society. It is also the last Roman Catholic church built in Edinburgh.

Holyrood Abbey

Founded in 1128 the ruins of Holyrood Abbey stand at the end of the Royal Mile. The “Royal Vault” is also the burying ground for several members of the royal family, including King David II in 1371 and King James V in 1542.

Inchcolm Abbey

As well as an important place of interest, the medieval Abbey on the Island of Inchcolm makes for a great day out. Take a boat tour from the Edinburgh coast and visit the tranquil island.

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