St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh
St Mary's Cathedral is situated on Palmerston
Place in Edinburgh, 1 mile southwest of the city
The Nave of St Mary's opened in 1897, and the twin
towers at the main entrance completed in 1917. This
is an Episcopal Protestant Cathedral, seat of the
Bishop of Edinburgh.
Scottish rulers tried to keep Bishops out of
Scottish Churches from the Reformation in the
Scotland and England merged into Great Britain in
1707, leading to churches of all faiths being
The historic St Giles from the 1100s on the Royal
Mile in Edinburgh centre, serves as the top
Protestant Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
St Mary's Catholic
Cathedral completed in 1814 on York Place in
Edinburgh centre, serves as the the top Catholic
Church in Scotland.
Construction of St Mary's Episcopal was funded by
the spinster sisters Barbara and Mary Walker in 1873.
They owned Drumsheugh Estate with the Cathedral being
built on estate land.
Easter Coates House of Drumsheugh Estate is
situated to the north of the Cathedral. The sisters
were granddaughters of Rev George Walker, an
Episcopal Minister in the 1700s.
St Mary's was designed by Sir George Gilbert
Scott, an English Gothic Revival architect that
specialized in Churches and Cathedrals.
The foundation stone was laid on the 21st May 1874
containing a copy of the Trust Deed, Edinburgh Post
Office Directory, newspapers, and coins.
The twin spires at the southwest side main
entrance are known as Barbara and Mary, after the
Walker sisters. Work on the spires began in 1913 with
completion in 1917.
Twelve bells are located in the 270ft high central
tower for change ringing. The central tower can be
seen from most parts of Edinburgh centre.
St Mary's is open to the public free of charge,
For more information on the History of Scotland
Churches and Cathedrals, view the St Giles
For a list of the top Cathedrals in Scotland to
visit, view the page Scotland