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Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

4.6
Greyfriars Kirk, today Greyfriars Tolbooth & Highland Kirk, is a parish kirk (church) of the Church of Scotland in central Edinburgh, Scotland. The kirk stands on the site of a pre-Reformation establishment of the Franciscan order, the "Grey Friars".It is one of the oldest surviving buildings built outside the Old Town of Edinburgh, having been begun in 1602 and completed circa 1620. It sits to the south of the Grassmarket, adjacent to the rear of George Heriot's School, itself founded in 1628. For many years, Greyfriars Kirk was divided into two places of worship – Old Greyfriars (erected 1614) and New Greyfriars (erected 1718).HistoryGreyfriars Kirk has an important place in the history of the Scottish Covenanters. In 1638 the National Covenant was presented and signed in front of the pulpit. In 1679, some 1,200 Covenanters were imprisoned in the Kirkyard pending trial.In 1845 a fire destroyed the furnishings and the roof. In the mid 19th century, the Rev. Robert Lee, then minister of Old Greyfriars, led a movement to change the worship, introducing the first post-Reformation stained glass windows in a Presbyterian church in Scotland, and also one of the first organs. He received considerable criticism at the time, but most of his proposals were subsequently widely accepted in the Church of Scotland.
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Greyfriars Kirk Reviews
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1,195 reviews
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  • This cemetery is very old. It has part of the old city wall left. There are lots of old tombstones. There are mounds and the talk of the town is that this is where hundreds of plague victims were buri...  more »
  • Being an avid fan of the the original 'Greyfriars Bobby' film, this is always on the wish list during our visits. It is just round the corner from the National Museum so can be combined. The history o...  more »
  • Here in Scotland, if you buy a house in front of a cemetery, you pay more ... at this wonderful nation the cult of the dead is truly special, on the one hand the other spooky really quaint ... think in Edinburgh, you can make a picnic These meadows or ask to use a small patch of land to make a small garden ...
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  • When you walk into Kirk you can tell your in special place No noise its just relaxing location. What other country would bury a dog in church graveyard. as you walk up cobbled stones past gates straight on you will see grave Greyfriars Bobby. What Love about this is the amount little gifts that people leave from all over the world. It just makes you smile and be happy that still hope in world. This is worth a visit in Edinburgh. hope you like photos.
  • very interesting and quite spooky walking over 1000's of corpses worth a visit
  • Fun place for some history. Definitely worth the paid tour if you have the time.
  • Beautiful old kirk. Huge organ and lovely acoustics
  • Great building with an interesting story about how for a long period the single building was 2 separate churches. This is still an active Presbyterian Church today.

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