St Giles Cathedral
About St Giles Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh. With its famed crown spire it stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen).
There is record of a parish church in Edinburgh by the year 854, served by a vicar from a monastic house, probably in England. It is possible that the first church, a modest affair, was in use for several centuries before it was formally dedicated by the bishop of St Andrews on 6 October 1243. The parish church of Edinburgh was subsequently reconsecrated and named in honour of the patron saint of the town, St Giles, whose feast day is celebrated on 1 September.
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