St John's Church

(St John's Episcopal Church)

St. John's Episcopal Church
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

St. John's Episcopal Church

Located at the west end of Edinburgh's Princes Street, St. John's Episcopal Church (formally, the Church of St. John the Evangelist) was built somewhat controversially on the south side of the street, which was intended to be undeveloped. Begun in 1816, to the designs of architect William Burn (1789 - 1870), the church was completed two years later at the cost of £18,013. Such was the furore that the residents of Princes Street obtained an Act of Parliament that prevented any further building and ensured their open view of the castle was preserved.

Built in the high Gothic style, it includes a particularly fine interior modelled on St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The 36.5m (120 foot) tower was originally capped by a lantern-like crown, but this blew down during its construction and was never replaced. Internal alterations were made by Peddie & Kinnear in 1867. J.M. Dick Peddie was responsible for the chancel and north porch (1879-82), the vestry hall (1914-16) and several enhancements to the interior. A Morning Chapel was added by W.J. Walker Todd in 1934-35.

Inside the church is a brass memorial tablet to John Stuart Stuart-Forbes (1848-76), killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn in the USA. The artist Sir Henry Raeburn (1756 - 1823), physicist Prof. Peter Tait (1831 - 1901), Sir Walter Scott's mother and James Donaldson, founder of Donaldson's School, are among those buried in the church-yard.

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