St Mary's Episcopal Church

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dalkeith
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dalkeith

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Dalkeith was designed by architects David Bryce and William Burn from 1843, as a private family chapel for Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, the 5th Duke of Buccleuch (1806-84). It is situated just within the walls of his Dalkeith House Estate at the east end of Dalkeith High Street. Built in the style of an English university chapel, with advice on its layout coming from Dean Ramsay of Edinburgh (1793 - 1872), the church features a fine double hammer-beam roof and fan-vaulting in the chancel. The construction placed a strain on the partnership between Burn and Bryce; the Duchess of Buccleuch took against Burn, who by this time was principally based in London.

The church was consecrated in 1845 and a memorial chapel to the 5th Duke was added by William, the 6th Duke (1831 - 1914) in 1890. The remains of the 5th Duke and several family members lie in a crypt below. St Mary's remained a family chapel until 1915, when it became the responsibility of the Diocese of Edinburgh, within the Scottish Episcopal communion of churches. In 1958 the church building was given to the congregation and the Diocese by 8th Duke.

The church houses a unique mains-water powered organ and bell-ringing mechanism. The organ, which is noted for its soft tone, was built in Edinburgh and installed in a case designed by David Bryce in 1846. Also of interest are the brightly-coloured Minton floor tiles, which depict the various heraldic devices of the Buccleuch family, and beautiful Flemish stained glass in the windows.

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