Edinburgh

St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh

An impressive place of worship in the heart of the Royal Mile.

St Giles Cathedral dates back to records from 854. St Giles was a 7th century hermit who became an abbot and resided in France. Legend has it that St Giles was wounded by a huntsman in pursuit of deer, it was said St Giles tried to protect the deer and was hit by the arrow himself, which is depicted in the cathedral. Following his death, many hospitals and safe houses were established throughout both Scotland and England for the poor and infirm in his name, and he became a patron of the original church in Edinburgh which has now blossomed into the grand St. Giles Cathedral.

St Giles’ was founded around the year 1124 when the sons of the Queen were making continued efforts to spread Catholicism and Christian worship throughout the nation. Originally the church was a small Norman structure with decorative carvings and arches which were typical of the time. Historical records state that the original buildings were continuously burned by invading armies from England, but the Scots, ever resilient always quickly repaired it each time.

Over the coming centuries chapels and altars were added and the splendour and grandeur of this Cathedral were dedicated to St. Giles himself. The Cathedrals unique architecture and kaleidoscope of colours featured in its stained glass windows, attract over 1 million visitors a year to this iconic place of worship on the Royal Mile.