St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 25720 73570, map


High Street


St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

St Giles Cathedral is a famous landmark in the centre of Edinburgh, and has been the site of religious worship since Medieval times. A previous church was destroyed by fire in 1385 and was replaced by an aisled cruciform church. Its nave is of five bays, while the choir is four-bay. The Moray Aisle was built onto the nave between 1387-91, while the Albany Aisle was constructed to the north-west of the nave between 1401-10. The rebuilding programme was completed by around 1419. After this the choir was lengthened to five bays and the Preston Aisle was added too (1453-5). In around 1500 the south transept of the church was extended and the ellaborate crown was added to the tower (the crown was rebuilt in 1648 by John Mylne). The Chepman and Lauder aisles were added in the early 16th century (the latter was demolished in 1829). Major reconstruction work began in 1829, which saw the building being virtually re-cased apart from the tower. The nave was heightened and a clerestory added. The Thistle Chapel was built onto the choir by Sir Robert Lorimer in 1910. The interior features many monuments, memorials and stained glass. Douglas Strachan installed 4 stained glass windows, 3 of which are situated on the north side of the cathedral and feature a Good Samaritan, St Raphael with St Michael and One with Christ. On the south side there is a window depicting St Giles Edwin of Northumbria (founder of Edinburgh). In the Thistle Chapel, Strachan also installed an east window of St Andrew the Fisherman in 1911. Researched and written by J. Dowling, 4/11/04.

Stained Glass

Date: 1932-53


  • Cathedral: Founded
    Date: 1130X1178
  • Cathedral: Addition ( to 1395)
    Feature: Transept
  • Cathedral: Damage (1385)
    Additional: Damaged by fire
  • Cathedral: Addition (1387)
    People: Town Council
  • Cathedral: Build/construction (1560)
    Additional: Rebuilt
  • Cathedral: Addition (1581)
  • Cathedral: Build/construction (1829 to 1833)
    People: William Burn.
    Additional: Rebuilt
  • Cathedral: Build/construction (1871 to 1879)
    People: William Hay.
    Additional: Rebuilt
  • Cathedral: Addition (1909 to 1911)
    Feature: Chapel.
    People: Sir Robert Lorimer
  • Cathedral: Addition (1932 to 1953)
    Feature: Window.
    People: Douglas Strachan
  • Cathedral: Repair (1984)
    People: Feilden, Simpson & Brown