Stained glass in South Transept

Stained glass in South Transept.

This evening, I am posting information on the historic parish church of St. Michael’s in Linlithgow, Scotland.

Linlithgow is an ancient town situated about twenty miles due west of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The key visitor attraction is Linlithgow Palace the entrance to which sits adjacent to St. Michael’s.

The Church is one of Scotland’s most important medieval churches. It rose to prominence due to proximity to the Royal Palace. Over the centuries the Church’s fortunes waxed and waned in tandem with the turbulent history of England and Scotland together with the Reformation in 1560. A historical chronology is as follows:

  • Located on an ancient Christian site but re-built between 1426 and 1531 owing to fire damage of predecessor.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots was baptised here in 1542.
  • Alters and statues were destroyed/removed after the Reformation in 1560.
  • During plague epidemics in Edinburgh, the church was used for classes by Edinburgh University.
  • During the 17th century the church was used as a timber store by Linlithgow Town Council.
  • Closed for restoration between 1896 and 1898.
  • In 1964 an aluminium crown was fixed atop the church tower. This replaced an earlier stone cross and is intended to represent the Crown of Thorns associated with Christ.
Crown of Thorns atop tower.

Crown of Thorns atop tower.

More information:

  • The Church is built in a cruciform shape with nave and chancel of same width. There is also a North Aisle, South Aisle, Queen’s Aisle and stained glass windows.
  • The stained glass windows are an important feature noteworthy of which is the new window created by Crear McCartney to mark the 750th anniversary of the Church.This is designed around the theme of Pentecost with twelve tongues of fire bursting out to touch symbols of the apostles.
  • High in the west tower hang three bells of which the oldest dates from 1490.
  • Worship at St. Michael’s follows the Presbyterian style within the Church of Scotland.
  • There are records available to assist with genealogy research.The Church is open to visitors at set times.
Stained glass window created by Crear McCartney

Stained glass window created by Crear McCartney.

Interior looking east, St Michael's Parish Church, Linlithgow.

Interior looking east, St Michael’s Parish Church, Linlithgow.

View of St Michael's Parish Church from South

View of St Michael’s Parish Church from South

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