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Edinburghs oldest Buildings.

  • 6 November 2022

3. The Magdalen Chapel, Cowgate.

Just to the east of the Grassmarket at the start of the Cowgate stands the quaint Magdalen Chapel. The chapel was built between 1541 and 1544 at the bequest of one Michael MacQueen who was interred here shortly after its completion. Magdalen Chapel is notable as being the last Roman Catholic church to have been constructed in Edinburgh prior the Reformation and provides us with the only remaining example of pre-Reformation stained glass in Scotland. This is particularly astonishing when you consider that the chapel is considered the ‘cradle of Presbyterianism’, having held the first ever assembly of the new Church of Scotland in 1560. John Knox was one of the 42 ministers present. The chapel is now the headquarters of the Scottish Reformation Society.

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