This evening, I am focusing on Falkirk Old and St. Modan’s Church in Falkirk, a town which is approximately equidistant between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The name Falkirk is derived from Faw-kirk in turn from Old Scots for dappled or speckled ( ‘Faw’) and church ( ‘Kirk’). The dappled or speckled description may have originated from the appearance of an early church on the site.

The church is built on an ancient site a brief chronology of which is as follows:

  • Tradition links the origin of Christian worship on the site with the Celtic Saint Modan in the 6th century.
  • In the 12th century the church then existing was transferred to Augustinian canons of Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh.
  • About 1460 a new church was built in the shape of a cruciform centred on a square tower with ‘lofty arches’ the remains of which still exist.
  • The Augustinians lost control at time of the Reformation in 1560 when the country adopted Protestantism.
  • The octagonal bell tower was added to the top of the tower in 1738. This was designed by William Adam patriarch of Scotland’s top architect family.
  • The present building was constructed in 1811 using a design by James Gillespie Graham.
  • South extension and upstairs hall was added in 1892 to design of Sir Robert Rowand Atkinson.
  • In 1986 the congregations of Falkirk Old merged with St. Moden’s and hence the current name.
  • Major restoration occurred in 2009 which entailed interior changes rendering the space more suited to modern worship. At this time a new organ was installed.

View of Falkirk Old Church with Sir Joh de Graeme’s tomb ( died 1298).

Falkirk Old and St. Modan’s Parish Church, Scotland



Ancient Sanctuary Cross


As will be evident from the above video clip, the church is well endowed with stained glass which include the following:

  • Two windows on either side of the pulpit wall were installed in 1897. These were the work of Christopher Whitworh Whall of London and inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement.
  • Four windows in the north-east and north-west walls were funded by a Miss Buchanan and date from the 1990s. They are decorated in quarry glass light shades of yellow, green and blue.
  • A millenium window in St. Modan’s Hall dates from 1995 and is the work of stained glass artist Rolland Mitton.

This church is part of the Church of Scotland. Visitors are welcomed.

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