The first stone church in Hörsne was built in Romanesque style during the 12th century. The oldest part of present church is the tower dating from the first half of the 13th century. The rest of the Romanesque church was eventually pulled down and replaced with a Gothic main building. Thus the choir and the vestry are from the end of the 13th century, while the nave was built during the early 14th century. When the nave was constructed, the choir was also modestly 'modernised' by the insertion of the presently visible eastern window. The church retains much of its medieval character.
The church has two remarkably sculptured portals. The choir portal display carved foliage and a few figures: two fish and a lion. The main portal is crowned by a sculpture of Saint Michael wielding a club and carrying a shield, sitting astride the wimperg. Underneath, the capitals are profusely sculpted with scenes from the apocalypse. Other capitals are decorated with foliage ornamentation. Both of the portals may have been made by the so-called Master Egypticus, a locally active anonymous master stone sculptor, and his workshop.
Some of the church windows display original stained glass paintings, displaying architectural motifs, foliage and a depiction of Bartholomew the Apostle. The church's altarpiece is a curious mix between Gothic wooden sculptures, evidently stemming from an earlier (14th century) altarpiece, incorporated into a Baroque altar from 1701. The church also has a notable triumphal cross, where the figure of Jesus is 15th century but the cross itself from the 17th. The pews, the pulpit and baptismal font are all from the 17th and 18th centuries.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.