St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh

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Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

This cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church. It is the see of the Bishop of Edinburgh. It was built in the late 19th Century to a Gothic design by Sir George Gilbert Scott. It’s spire reaches a height of 90m making the building the highest in the Edinburgh area,

Following the Glorious Revolution of 1689, Presbyterianism was restored in the national Church of Scotland in place of episcopacy. Episcopalians were therefore left without a place of worship as St. Giles’ Cathedral, as it was then, came under the Established Church’s ministry. The congregation worshipped in different places until the present cathedral was built.

Spinster sisters, Barbara and Mary Walker left their land to the Episcopal Church in Scotland with the funds being used to build the cathedral. The foundation stone was laid on 21st May, 1874 by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry and was finally consecrated on 30th October, 1879. The twin spires, named ‘Barbara’ and ‘Mary’ in memory of the Walker sister were begun in 1913 and finished in 1917.

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