The origins of Cramond Kirk date back to the building here of an extensive Roman Fort. By about 600 AD a building on the site of part of the Roman Fort was being used for Christian worship. The earliest part of the church which survives today is the tower at its west end, which is thought to date back to the 1400s. Possibly of similar date is the Inglis family vault at the east end of the kirk, complete with a stone slabbed roof. Most of the church between these two extremities dates back to 1656. By then, nearly a century after the Reformation, the medieval church on the site had fallen into ruin and would doubtless have been structurally ill-suited to the needs of the Presbyterian Kirk and its very different forms of worship. The result was the near complete rebuilding of the kirk.
In 1828 the architect William Burn altered the church, while David Bryce oversaw changes in 1851 and 1868. Further major changes took place in 1911-12, which included the near total remodelling of the interior of the kirk and the alteration and refurbishment of a structure which had become very dilapidated.
The interior of the kirk is much more roomy than you expect from outside, and the most striking feature is the large amount of attractive woodwork on view lining the ceiling, panelling the lower parts of the walls, and in the pews and galleries. The focus of attention is the pulpit and communion table placed, unusually, at the kirk's south end.
There are a number of fascinating old gravestones in the Kirkyard, with perhaps the most striking being that of Robert Haig, which appears to carry a depiction of two nuns.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.