A guard of honour accompanied the old colours of the Scottish regiments from Edinburgh Castle to St Giles on November 15th 1883. A detachment from the Scots Greys and the regimental band and pipers of the Gordon Highlanders also took part in the procession. The route from the fortress to St Giles was lined with hundreds of men, women and children who had turned out to see the colours being laid up.


Friends of Greyfriars Kirkyard: first meeting of the volunteer group

A new friends group for Greyfriars Kirkyard

Public Meeting to gather supporters for a new ‘Friends of’ group for Greyfriars Kirkyard

We want to hear your visionfor the future of Greyfriars Kirkyard.

We are looking for enthusiastic people to join us in setting up a new ‘friends of’ group, created for Greyfriars Kirkyard, to coordinate local community interest and support for this iconic site. 

This free event, facilitated by Edinburgh World Heritage and led by Charlotte Golledge (volunteer and Greyfriars Kirkyard enthusiast), is part of the Making Lasting Impressions: Greyfriars Kirkyard community project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage fund, which aims to involve a wider range of people with this beloved heritage site.

At this event you will hear from Dr Jeff Sanders, Vice President of the Friends of Warriston Cemetery, who will share the experiences of Edinburgh’s first graveyard friends group, and Dr Susan Buckham (Edinburgh World Heritage’s Graveyards Project Manager) who will describe the work of graveyard ‘friends of’ groups across the UK. 

Please join us at this public meeting to lend it your support and find out how you can get involved. 

All are welcome.

How to take part

  1. Book your free ticket and we’ll send you the joining info
  2. Download Zoom – it’s free (for mobile: android or Apple, and for desktop)
  3. Join us at 6pm on Thursday 12th November 2020 via the link in your confirmation email


  • Date: Thursday 12 November 2020
  • Start time: 6pm
  • Venue: Zoom online (you’ll receive joining info in your confirmation email)

St Giles

 Possibly founded in the 12th century and dedicated to St Giles, the present building was erected in the 14th and continued to be extended until the early 16th century. The church was given collegiate status by Pope Paul II. Major alterations were undertaken in the 19th and 20th centuries, including the addition of the Thistle Chapel. St Giles is closely associated with many important figures and events in Scottish history, including John Knox who served as the church’s minister following the Scottish Reformation which changed the course of the country’s history.

Sir James Falshaw

By the late 19th century, the church authorities no longer objected to stained glass windows being installed. William Chambers commissioned James Ballantine to produce nine new windows for the chancel in St Giles, illustrating the life of Christ. The well-known artist Robert Herdman advised on the design, and the windows were paid for by a series of donors whose names are recorded on them. The Great East Window was donated by Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir James Falshaw.


“If you seek a monument, gaze around” – Sir Christopher Wren  
Greyfriars Bobby’s statue at the junction of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row was created by William Brodie and donated by Baroness Burdett-Coutts. The drinking fountain may have been designed by George Cousin the city architect.  Great sculptors have lived and worked in Edinburgh for centuries, and the city has one of the finest collection of public monuments in Europe. In this live event, our panel will share their own favourite examples of Edinburgh sculpture and monuments, and discuss how they enrich our experience of the city and what new commissions might be appropriate. Special guests include the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, Alexander Stoddart, Scottish sculptor, Kenny Hunter, and the Director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, Sorcha Carey. Prices start at £4 for members. New members get free access to this and all our autumn events. By becoming a member you will be helping us deliver our crucial conservation and community work in the Old & New Towns World Heritage Site. Please use the link below if you’d like to become a member – price start at £25.   Date: 26th November 2020
Start time: 6pm
Venue: Zoom online (joining information will be sent to you via email)Queries should be sent to:
Barbara Alexander
Membership and Fundraising Officer
0131 220 7731, 
Buy tickets for ‘If you seek a monument’  

Ballantine & Allan

James Ballantine was born in Edinburgh in 1808. Although stained glass had not been manufactured in Scotland since the Reformation, James Ballantine decided to set up a studio in Carruber’s Close in 1837. Along with his partner George Allan he set up a company at 42 George Street specialising in supplying stained glass and house painting. James Ballantine came to the public’s attention when he won a national competition to design stained glass windows for the House of Lords.


Greyfriars Kirk is closed to visitors today as the church is being used for recording. The Radical Welcome  course begins at 8pm this evening run by Anne Ross, our visiting minister from the Lutheran Church of Bavaria and our probationer minister, Urzula Glienecke. At our three venues, Greyfriars Kirk, the Grassmarket Community Project and the Greyfriars Charteris Centre, hospitality is at the centre of all we do. We want to be places that offer a genuine welcome to all, regardless of their background or their faith.During the four evening sessions on the 5, 12, 19 and 26 November from 8-9 pm the project will: 

·         look at the history of our congregations and community 

·         reflect on our personal experiences of being excluded but also welcomed 

·         ask what kind of congregation and community we want to be 

·         challenge ourselves by aiming to become a radically welcoming place that inspires, empowers and blesses the people around us 

Please come and be part of this journey. To receive the Zoom invitation with the link please email