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Edinburgh, Canongate Parish Church

Cemetery (17th Century), Church (17th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Canongate Parish Church

Classification Cemetery (17th Century), Church (17th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Canongate Church; Canongate Kirk; 137 - 163 Canongate; Dunbar's Close; Youngers Holyrood Brewery War Memorial

Canmore ID 52356

Site Number NT27SE 328

NGR NT 26437 73829

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52356

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

Built 1688-91, architect James Smith. Plan is a latin cross with an aisled nave, transepts, short chancel and apse. Vestries flanking the chapel are built on the site of demolished vestries as part of restoration in 1946-54 by Ian G Lindsay.

RCAHMS 1951; J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker 1984.

Architecture Notes

RCAHMS Print Room

W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection, Acc no 1997/39

5 interior views, 1950

REFERENCE:

RCAHMS: See Ian G Lindsay collection W4

Built 1688-91, architect James Smith. Plan is a latin cross with an aisled nave, transepts, short chancel and apse. Alterations carried out in 1817. Vestries flanking the chapel are built on the site of demolished vestries as part of restoration in 1946-54 by Ian G Lindsay.

RCAHMS 1951; J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker 1984.

REFERENCE:

National Archives of Scotland:

Burial Place in the Canongate Churchyard.

Letter from Alexander, 2nd Earl of Marchmont to William Hall.

He asks for the draught of the Burial place so that he may give some directions about it and expresses the hope that Mr Macgill has set down the expense of his proposal.

1722 GD 206/2/590/3

Design for a Burial Place in Canongate Church-yard.

'...I'm quickly to trouble you by a draft of the Burial Place in Canongate Churchyard'

Letter from William Adam, Architect, to the Earl of Marchmont. October 20th 1724.

GD158/1303/1 Page 117-118

Edinburgh. Designs for a Burial Place in Canongate Churchyard.

William Adam, Architect, asks the Earl of Marchmont for his opinion of the Designs of the Burial Place and if he wishes alterations made.

Letter from William Adam, Architect, to the Earl of Marchmont. January 19th 1725

GD 158/1303/3/ Page 121-122

1816-23

Canongate Church. Memorials and papers relating to new seating (12 items, made up as file), including:

1. Memorial of managers of kirk and kirkyard funds, 7 March 1816.

2. Memorial for Duke of Hamilton objecting to the king being allocated 'a secondary seat in the gallery', June 1816.

3. Report on contribution to be made in respect of king's seat, referring to similar cases at Glasgow and St Andrews, 25 June 1816.

6. Letter from Robert Reid on cost of seating, 15 Dec. 1817.

8. Report on application by magistrates of Canongate for leave to occupy king's seat, 28 Nov. 1822.

SRO/E342/31

NMRS Printroom

W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection Acc no 1997/39

5 interior views, 1950

Activities

Publication Account (1981)

Although Canongate became a vassal of Edinburgh in 1636, it remained a separate burgh and parish and the parishioners worshipped as they had done for centuries in the nave of the abbey church (RCAM, 1951, 153). In 1686, James VII took over the abbey nave for his own use and Canongate residents were thus deprived of their parish church. Temporary church accommodation was found while a new Parish church was erected on the north side of the main street of the burgh. The church, constructed in 1688, is a 'plain, inornate basilica' with an interior which is 'lofty and bare' (RCAM, 1951, 154). It includes a semi-circular presbytery on the north, a rectangular transeptal aisle to the east and west and an aisled nave to the south.

Information from ‘Historic Edinburgh, Canongate and Leith: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1981).

Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (http://www.pmsa.org.uk/) set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (16 August 2002)

Coat of arms of William III, carved in very high relief, composed of a thistle, a crown and a red lion, above a quartered shield. The first and fourth quarters contain the emblems of France (three fleurs de lis in the first and fourth quarters) and England (three lions passant guardant in the second and third quarters). In the second quarter is a lion rampant representing Scotland, and in the third quarter is a harp representing Ireland. In the centre are the Arms of Nassau (a lion rampant and billets [oblongs]).The shield is flanked by a unicorn rampant (left) and a lion rampant (right).

A gilded stag's head with a cross between its antlers is on the apex of the church.

William III reigned 1689-1702.

Inspected By : D. King

Inscriptions : On blue ribbon above (gilded letters): IN DEFENCE

On ribbon along bottom: [JE MAINTEINDRAI]

Signatures : None

Design period : 1688-1691

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0534)

Field Visit (16 August 2002)

Stone inscribed panel with carved angel's head and wing on either side, with a swag of fruit and flowers between them running through lower corners of plaque.

Thomas Moodie left money in 1649 for building a church in the Grassmarket.

Inspected By : D.King

Inscriptions : On cartouche at bottom of coat of arms (gilded letters): T.M.

On plaque (gilded letters): IN 1688 KING JAMES VII / ORDAINED THAT THE MORTIFICATION / OF THOS. MOODIE GRANTED IN 1649 TO / BUILD A CHURCH SHOULD BE APPLIED / TO THE ERECTION OF THIS STRUCTURE

Signatures : None

Design period : 1688-1691

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0535)

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

References

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