Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile

Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

This evening, I am focusing on Canongate Kirk, the Kirk of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle. This is prompted by a report in today’s press that the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips and England rugby star, Mike Tindall are to marry at the Kirk on July 30th.

In fact this church/kirk has long-standing royal connections. Its predecessor was located about half a mile down the Royal Mile at Holyroodhouse where the nave of the Augustinian abbey became the Kirk of the Canongate which also served as the Chapel Royal  where many of Scotland’s sovereigns were baptised, married, crowned and buried.In 1688 King James VIII of Scotland (James II of England) took over the church for his own use but in exchange agreed that money donated by one Thomas Moodie should be allocated to building a new church. The outcome was the present building which dates from 1690. Above the main door of the church can be found thecoats of arms representing both Thomas Moodie and the royal duo of William and Mary who succeeded King James.

From an architectural perspective, the church was designed by James Smith. It is a plain, cruciform, aisled Church with decoratively gabled south front topped by antlers and pierced by a Doric portico. In the graveyard can be found a memorial to famous economist  Adam Smith and many other notable persons. Looking up the site offers good views of Calton Hill  including the Royal High School (below).

Royal High School, Calton Hill

Royal High School, Calton Hill, Edinburgh

The crisp, light blue and white decor of the interior is very pleasing on the eye.

Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh

Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland

Elsewhere today, main preoccupation has been with the design of a self-drive tour of Scotland and Ireland for a couple from the U.S. Also, received good feedback on two recent tours. It is raining heavily tonight in Glasgow.

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