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• GREYFRIAR'S KIRKYARD


• GREYFRIAR'S BOBBY

Places Of Interest Edinburgh Old Town

GREYFRIAR'S KIRK

Greyfriars Kirk is now home to the congregation of Greyfriar Tolbooth and Highland. It took its name from the pre-reformation Francian friary which stood nearby.

Greyfriar's Kirk was the first church to be built in Edinburgh after the Reformation and was opened in 1620.

It plays a significant role in Scottish history because it was here, in front of the pulpit, that the National Covenant was presented and signed in 1638, This was an extremely important document in Scottish history and an original copy can be seen in the visitor's centre. The kirk was used as a barracks from 1650 to 1653 during Oliver Cromwell's invasion of Scotland.

It was also here that over twelve hundred Covenanters were imprisoned in 1679 awaiting their fate, over one hundred were hung at the Grassmarket and many were deported overseas as slaves.The Covenanters prison still exists in Greyfriar's Kirkyard.

The Town Council stored its gunpowder in the kirk and in 1781 the Western side of the Kirk was blown up in an accident. The west side was rebuild in 1721 adding two extra bays in the original style.

Fire gutted the Kirk in 1845 and detroyed the furnishings and roof. Restoration took many years to complete and a new single span roof was installed along with the first stained glass windows in a Scottish parish church since the reformation. Later, in 1860 it was also the first Presbyterian church to have an organ installed to accompany singing.


 
 

 

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