Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

Click on photos to enlarge
Notes in italics from Pevsner Architectural Guides,
Edinburgh by John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker (1991), Yale University Press.

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East - South - West

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The Greyfriars Kirk was built in an already existing Greyfriars cemetery. Building started in 1602 and after some fits and starts in the work the church was finally opened in 1620. A long Gothic-survival box whose  whose building history is all-important (details in the above publication, only key changes explaining the present appearance given here) ... The plan was conservative, an aisled six-bay nave with a W tower but no chancel. ... Solid buttresses at the flanks, their ashlar masonry contrasting with the harled wall. Three-light windows to the S, two-light to the N, all with broadly-splayed pointed arches. Round-arched E window to the nave.  ... In May 1718 gunpowder stored in the tower exploded, and the tower and two W bays were wrecked. ... The tower was demolished, and the two damaged W bays of the original Greyfriars were repaired and two more added ... The buttressed W end became a Dutch gable, with curvilinear skews at the aisles and a pediment at the nave. Against the gable a semi-octagonal porch. The buttresses ... received ball-topped obelisk-pinnacles. ... In 1722 McGill .. recast the E gable of Old Greyfriars with a pediment at the nave  and straight skews at the aisle. ...

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Interior looking east - south - west

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Organ by Peter Collins, 1990, its case designed by Grey, Marshall & Associates, with limewood carvings by Derek Riley.
Of 1912 Honeyman's large octagonal pulpit.
W window (Resurrection) by A. Ballantine & Gardiner , 1898.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Kirk Website 

Greyfriars' Bobby 

Old Pictures of Greyfriars at Edinphoto 


More of Edinburgh at Astoft



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