St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh

St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh (must see)

Edinburgh Castle is on the “must” list of every visitor to Scotland’s capital city and St Margaret’s Chapel is perhaps the highlight of the tour due to being the oldest building still standing in the entire complex.

St Margaret was a princess of the House of Wessex. Her family moved to Scotland after the Norman invasion of England. She married King Malcolm III of Scotland and was renowned for her piety and charitable works. According to legend, she prayed every day in the chapel that bears her name, but actually, it was built in her honour by her son, King David I at the beginning of the 12th century.

The chapel was built in the Romanesque style, a 3 metre wide, rectangular building with a 4 metre long nave, a sanctuary 3 metres long and walls 61 centimetres thick. Between the nave and the sanctuary is a beautiful round arch with chevron mouldings.

In 1314 the castle was captured by the Earl of Moray after a long siege. As was the custom, once the earl gained the castle, he destroyed all the buildings in it, but for some reason he spared the chapel. In 1329, Robert the Bruce left a small sum of money for the chapel’s up-keep.

Between the 16th and the mid 19th centuries, the chapel fell into disrepair and was used as a gun powder storeroom. In 1853 it was restored under the patronage of Queen Victoria. The stained-glass windows representing St Margaret, St Ninian, St Columba, St Andrew and William Wallace were installed in 1929. After further restorations, the chapel was re-consecrated in 1934.

Tip:
Try to visit when it's not too crowded as it can get claustrophobic in there.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. Margaret's Chapel on Map

Sight Name: St. Margaret's Chapel
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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