St Cuthberts Edinburgh, Historic Lothian Road Building Photos, Location, Scottish Baroque image

St Cuthbert’s Church Edinburgh Architecture

Architectural History of this building design by Hippolyte Blanc architect in southeast Scotland, UK.

post updated 29 October 2023

Location: off Lothian Road, central Edinburgh, Scotland

Dates built: 1892 – 1894

Architect: Hippolyte Blanc

Architecture style: Baroque and Renaissance

St Cuthbert's Church
architecture photo of St Cuthberts Church © Adrian Welch 2005

St Cuthbert’s Church Edinburgh

Major capital buildings located close by include the House of Fraser department store to the north across Princes Street. To the west is the Hilton Caledonian hotel building, a former Victorian railway hotel.

The Parish Church of St Cuthbert is a parish church of the Church of Scotland located in central Edinburgh. Probably founded in the 7th century, the church once covered an extensive parish around the burgh of Edinburgh. The church’s current building was designed by Hippolyte Blanc and completed in 1894.

St Cuthbert's Church Edinburgh
building photo © Adrian Welch, January 2007

St Cuthbert’s is situated within a large churchyard that bounds Princes Street Gardens and Lothian Road. A church was probably founded on this site during or shortly after the life of Cuthbert. The church is first recorded in 1128, when David I granted it to Holyrood Abbey.

At that time, the church covered an extensive parish, which was gradually reduced until the 20th century by the building and expansion of other parishes, many of which were founded as chapels of ease of St Cuthbert’s. St Cuthberts Church became a Protestant church at the Scottish Reformation in 1560: from after the Reformation until the 19th century, the church was usually called the West Kirk.

After the Restoration in 1660, the congregation remained loyal to the Covenanters. The church’s position at the foot of Castle Rock saw it damaged or destroyed at least four times between the 14th and 17th centuries.

The current St Cuthberts Church was built between 1892 and 1894 to replace a Georgian church, which had itself replaced a building of uncertain age. The building was designed by Hippolyte Blanc in the Baroque and Renaissance styles and retains the steeple of the previous church.

The Buildings of Scotland guide to Edinburgh calls the church’s furnishings “extraordinary”. Features include stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Douglas Strachan, and Ballantyne & Gardiner; mural paintings by Gerald Moira and John Duncan; and memorials by John Flaxman and George Frampton. The church also possesses a ring of ten bells by Taylor of Loughborough. The church has been a Category A listed building since 1970.


A historic building close to St Cuthbert’s Church:

St Johns Church

Edinburgh Walking Tours : Architecture Walking Tours by e-architect guides for pre-booked visiting groups to the Scottish capital city.

Scottish Capital Church Building Designs

Contemporary Scottish Capital Church Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Edinburgh Churches

Featured Edinburgh Area Religious Buildings:

St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral
St Mary’s Cathedral picture © Adrian Welch
St Mary’s Cathedral

St Peter’s Church
St Peter's Church interior
church building photograph : Keith Hunter
St Peter’s Church

Canongate Kirk
Canongate Kirk
church building photo © Adrian Welch

Tron Kirk
Tron Kirk Edinburgh
church building photo © Adrian Welch

Also in Edinburgh, but not in the city centre:

St Cuthbert’s Episcopal Church
Date built: 1889
Location: Colinton village, south west of the city
Architect: Robert Rowand Anderson

A major Religious Building in south east Scotland:

Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin – south of the city centre, past the by-pass ring road
Rosslyn Chapel
picture from the architect
Rosslyn Chapel

Comments / photos for the St Cuthberts Edinburgh Architecture in southeast Scotland, United Kingdom building design by Hippolyte Blanc architect, page welcome.