Canongate Kirk

Canongate Kirk

Denomination:   Church of Scotland
OS Reference:   NT265738
Address:   153 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BN
Local Authority:   Edinburgh
Listing:   A

Church Overview

The Canongate Church, or Kirk, is a post-reformation building of great ecclesiastical and historical significance to the City of Edinburgh. The church was opened in 1691, its plan by James Smith being unique among 17th-century Scottish churches. Its distinctively unconventional form, with its striking curvilinear Dutch gable, Doric portico and large central circular window to principal street elevation, adds to its interest. Above the entrance is a plaque to the ‘Mortification’ of Thomas Moodie, explaining that money left in his will was used to build the church. A set of antlers of a deer sit atop the gable; these are real antlers, renewed from time to time. The kirk is the parish church for the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official home of the Queen in Scotland. Elegant interior with cool blue paintwork and white walls contrasting with the red plush of the Royal pew at the front and hanging military colours. Frobenius organ 1999. The churchyard contains the remains of many famous Scots, including economist Adam Smith, poet Robert Fergusson, and Mrs Agnes McLehose (Burns’s Clarinda).


Sundays: Family Service 10.00am, Parish Worship 11.15am

Opening Arrangements

Open May to September, daily, 10.30am-4.30pm or by arrangement


Guide book available Access for partially abled  Induction loop for the deaf Welcomers and guides on duty by arrangement.  Disabled WC  inventory

Image Gallery

Click image to open gallery.

Canongate Kirk


The information about churches in Scotland’s Churches Scheme has been provided by the congregations or taken from the Historic Scotland list and published sources, in particular, the Buildings of Scotland volumes and the RIAS Illustrated Architectural Guides. To contact this specific church please complete the Contact this Church form above. The information is not authoritative; please contact Scotland’s Churches Trust to let us know of any errors or omissions.