518 Routeri66. EDINBURGH. St. Giles's Church.
The High Street begins beyond the cross-thoroughfare that
leads on the right, past the new County Buildings, to George IV.
Bridge (p. 522) and on the left (Bank St.) to the Mound and Prin¬
ces St. Here rises *St. Giles's Church (PL E, 4), the exterior of
which has suffered from an unskilful restoration in 1829, while the
interior is now of great interest. The chief exterior feature is the
Lantern Tower (160 ft.; 14th cent.), an imitation of that of St.
Nicholas at Newcastle (p. 456).
St. Giles's, the oldest parish-church in Edinburgh, now usually styled
'Cathedral', was erected in the 12th cent., on the site of a much earlier
edifice. In 1385, however, the greater part of it was destroyed by fire,
and the present Gothic church was built in 1385-1460. At the Reformation
the interior of the church was defaced and robbed of its artistic adorn¬
ments; after which it was divided by partitions into four separate
churches. In this condition it remained until 1871-83, when, at the instance
and mainly at the cost of Dr. William Chambers (p. 506), the well-known
publisher, the interior was carefully restored to its original appearance.
The Interior (open, 10-3, adm. 3d.; on Mon., free; closed on Sat.),
196 ft. in length, presents an imposing though somewhat cold and bare
appearance. The characteristic Scottish barrel-vaulting should be noticed.
The stained-glass windows are modern. We enter by the N. Doorway and
find ourselves in the Transept, the oldest part of the church. The four
massive Norman piers here, which support the tower, may perhaps date
from the original edifice of 1120. To the right is the Nave, on the N.
side of which is the Chapel of St. Eloi, with the Argyll Memorial, by
C. Macbride, unveiled in 1895 in honour of the Marquis of Argyll (d. 1661).
Adjoining, enclosed by an iron screen, is the Albany Aisle, erected by the
Duke of Albany, son of Robert II., in 1402, in expiation of the miirder
of his nephew, the Duke of Rothesay (p. 546). Opposite, to the S., is the
Moray Aisle, containing a handsome altar and pulpit. Beneath the W.
window is a bronze "Memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) by A. St.
Gaudens. In the small chapel at the S.W. end of the Moray Aisle is a
modern monument to the Regent Moray (d. 1570; p. 525); the metal plate is
from the original tomb. Near the handsome modern W. Doorway is the
font, after Thorvaldsen. From the pillars of the nave hang the old flags
of Scottish regiments. — The Chancel contains a tasteful modern pulpit
and the royal pew (in carved oak). The last pillar to the left, with the
arms of James II. and his wife, Mary of Cleves, is called the '■King's Pillar'.
The Preston Aisle, to the S. of the choir, is a good specimen of the Perp.
style (15th cent.). The small adjoining Chepman Aisle, or Montrose Chapel,
contains the tomb of Walter Chepman (d. 1532), tbe first Scottish printer,
and a modern memorial (1838) to the Marquis of Montrose (d. 1650), who,
like the Regent Moray (see above), is interred in the Crypt, below the
When Charles I. attempted to re-establish the Scottish Episcopal Church,
St. Giles's was made the cathedral of the bishopric of Edinburgh (1634),
and it was here that Jenny Geddes threw her stool at Dean Hanna. Both
the dean and his assailant are commemorated by brass tablets in the
church. [The stool is preserved in theNational Museum of Antiquities, p. 523.)
The Solemn League and Covenant was signed here in 1643. John Knox often
preached in St. Giles's. — The small shops or booths, which were erected
between the buttresses about 1560, were called Kraimes, and the wares
sold in them Kraimery (comp. German Krdmerei).
Outside the church, to the N.E., is the shaft of the old City
Cross, restored in 1885, and mounted on a new pedestal. — To the
N.W. is a figure of a heart in the pavement, marking the site of the
Old Tolbooth, or city prison, known as the 'Heart of Midlothian'.
Close by is a Statue of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch (d. 1884).