Sunday, January 1, 2012

Canongate Kirk

Canongate Kirk, in Edinburgh - Scotland, is the church that serves the residents of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, when they are at home. It is also the parish church of Edinburgh Castle. 

A plaque on one of the walls in the church notes a summary of the church's history, explaining how in 1688 King James VII/II decided that a bequest left by Thomas Moodie in 1649 for the construction of a church should be used in order to build Canongate Kirk. 

However the plaque does not record the fact that King James decided to use another source in order to build the church to allow him to convert the old Canongate Parish Church into a chapel for the Order of the Thistle. 

The church that emerged in 1691 was remarkable in a Scotland which at the time was strongly Presbyterian. It is in the shape of a Roman Cross. Numerous people have suggested that the builders were deliberately building a church that could easily be converted for Roman Catholic use, should the Reformation of 130 years earlier have unwound. The exterior of the church has a Dutch style end gable and a small Doric-columned portico over the entrance. 

Canongate Kirk is a military church. Above the nave of the church hang the Colours of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, the "Dandy Ninth" and the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment). Also in the church are the standards of former Governors of Edinburgh Castle.   

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