Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Edinburgh  /  Greyfriars Kirk

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.
Plan to visit Greyfriars Kirk and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Edinburgh attractions using our Edinburgh day trip planning app .
Source
Create an itinerary including Greyfriars Kirk
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Greyfriars Kirk Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,346 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We have been inside for a tour and to worship on a Sunday. Definitely worth a stop. Interesting history.  more »
  • This graveyard was a big tourist attraction, with multiple tours being guided around the area. Due to nearby university graduation, the church itself was closed but the grounds were still open. Some o...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful and peaceful. And really spooky in the night time too. I'm a ghost tour guide and I love sharing the story of the Black Mausoleum with my guests.
  • Visited this place as part of a free walking tour, the ghost tour around Edinburgh was very good with a great tour guide. Unfortunately I forgot his name! But he was an excellent story teller
  • Build a plan

    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it

    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package

    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!

    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance

Popular things to do in Edinburgh

View all >
4.4
Duration: 3​h
4.4
Duration: 3​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h
4.9
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Historic Sites in Edinburgh

View all >
4.1
Duration: 1​h
4.4
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 1​h

Museums in Edinburgh

View all >
4.7
Duration: 3​h
4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Edinburgh

4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.5
Duration: 1​h
4.9
Duration: 1​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 30​min

Fun & Games in Edinburgh

View all >
4.9
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.9
Duration: 1​h
4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Nearby attractions in Edinburgh

4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 1​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h