Queen Mary of Gueldres founded the collegiate church in 1462 as a memorial to her husband, James II (1437 – 60. Born 1430). It’s purpose was the same as that of Rosslyn Chapel – to say, in perpetuity, prayers for the soul(s), which were in purgatory, of a particular individual (in this case, James II) and/or family.

Like Rosslyn Chapel it was never completed. Only the choir and transepts were erected – in the case of Rosslyn only the choir was completed. (To go to a page which discusses the incomplete construction of Rosslyn Chapel click here or on the previous link). The church, when most complete, was ‘finished’ in 1531. The church originally stood where Waverley Railway Station now stands. It was damaged during the Reformation and ownership passed to the City of Edinburgh. Demolished in 1848 it was re-built in 1872 as the New Trinity Hall and this in turn was demolished in 1964. The stones, which had been carefully marked and numbered, were left lying on Calton Hill for in excess of 30 years whilst legal wrangling took place as to where the church was to be re-erected. The present site was finally settled on and the images here are of the church in Chalmers Close off the north side of the High Street between North Bridge and John Knox’s House.

After more than 500 years of attack, neglect and theft it is hardly surprising that the present structure is nothing like the earlier gothic structure with much in common, architecturally, with Rosslyn Chapel.

The structure, pictured above, incorporates the stones which were eventually salvaged from Calton Hill. Those relatively few pieces can provide a glimmer as to some of the detail of the original structure. Please the other images of the exterior.