Old Photograph Royal Pew St Giles Cathedral Scotland

Old photograph of the Royal Pew in St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland. St. Giles' Cathedral or the High Kirk of Edinburgh is a Church of Scotland place of worship decorating the midpoint of the Royal Mile. The church has been one of Edinburgh's religious focal points for approximately 900 years. Today it is sometimes regarded as the mother church of Presbyterianism. St. Giles was only a cathedral in its formal sense, ie. the seat of a bishop, for two periods during the 17th century (1635-38 and 1661-1689), when episcopalianism, backed by the Crown, briefly gained ascendancy within the Kirk. In the mediaeval period, prior to the Reformation, Edinburgh had no cathedral as the royal burgh was part of the Diocese of St Andrews, under the Bishop of St Andrews whose episcopal seat was St Andrew's Cathedral. For most of its post-Reformation history the Church of Scotland has not had bishops, diocese, or cathedrals. As such, the use of the term Cathedral today carries no practical meaning. The " high kirk " title is older, being attested well before the building's brief stint as a cathedral. It is the Church of Scotland parish church for part of Edinburgh's Old Town. As the name implies, it is dedicated to St. Giles, who was the patron saint of cripples and lepers and a very popular saint in the Middle Ages.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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