The Parish Church of St Cuthbert was probably founded in the 7th century and it once covered an extensive parish around the burgh of Edinburgh. The church's current building was designed by Hippolyte Blanc and completed in 1894.

St Cuthbert's is situated within a large churchyard that bounds Princes Street Gardens and Lothian Road. A church was probably founded on this site during or shortly after the life of Cuthbert. The church is first recorded in 1128, when David I granted it to Holyrood Abbey. At that time, the church covered an extensive parish, which was gradually reduced until the 20th century by the erection and expansion of other parishes, many of which were founded as chapels of ease of St Cuthbert's. St Cuthbert's became a Protestant church at the Scottish Reformation in 1560: from after the Reformation until the 19th century, the church was usually called the West Kirk. After the Restoration in 1660, the congregation remained loyal to the Covenanters. The church's position at the foot of Castle Rock saw it damaged or destroyed at least four times between the 14th and 17th centuries.

The current church was built between 1892 and 1894 to replace a Georgian church, which had itself replaced a building of uncertain age. The building was designed by Hippolyte Blanc in the Baroque and Renaissance styles and retains the steeple of the previous church. Features include stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Douglas Strachan, and Ballantyne & Gardiner; mural paintings by Gerald Moira and John Duncan; and memorials by John Flaxman and George Frampton. The church also possesses a ring of ten bells by Taylor of Loughborough. The church has been a Category A listed building since 1970.

Seven of the church's ministers have served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland during their incumbencies, including Robert Pont, who held the role on six occasions between the 1570s and 1590s. The church's present work includes ministries among homeless people and Edinburgh's business community.

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Founded: 1894
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Colin Gillies (5 months ago)
The oldest Christian site in Edinburgh which predates St Giles Cathedral, the former High Kirk of Edinburgh. The churchyard and cemetery have some interesting graves and are worth visiting.
Steve Levy (8 months ago)
Sadly wasn't able to see inside. Was also sad to see the graveyard has been left to a state of disrepair. Rubbish left lying about didn't help.
Hyma Nelson (8 months ago)
Our visit on 11th August from London. Very warm welcome. Great ambiance. Friendly, helpful staff. Best fish and chips we have ever had. We will definitely reccomend it and will come back again. Thank you and we haven't even had dessert yet that's how great it is.
Nick Eaton (10 months ago)
Attended Christmas Eve Service, and absolutely loved it. A very historical and beautiful church. My only comment would be they didn't use the pipe organ.
Jo Gogou (11 months ago)
The place is incredibly. It is an old chapel with lot of history throwback in 1800. The graveyard was the same, above the Edinburgh castle. Beautiful view and peaceful.
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