Moray House School of Education and Sport

The Old Kirk

This was the kirk of the Old (or Great) Kirk, a congregation which had originally worshipped in part of St Giles from 1560, and in this Old Kirk between 1882 and 1941.

John Knox is claimed as the congregation's first minister (1560 -1572).

The Penguin Guide describes the Old Kirk as being built in a "studied Scots style with a canted bay between conical - roofed drum towers." The building dates from 1881/2. The architects were Anderson and Browne. It stands on the site of the old drying green originally provided by the Earl of Wemyss to the residents of St John's Street in the 18th century.

In 1944 Moray House acquired the Old Kirk and its adjacent Hall. Following a major adaptation it became the base for the Music and Educational Handwork departments in 1949. A stage was constructed on the first floor using the timber from discarded desks.

The City issued the Governors of Moray House in 1979 with a notice to demolish the Old Kirk's adjacent Hall, which had become dangerous.

Until the merger with the University of Edinburgh in 1998 the building had latterly housed Moray House's Building Services. It is now closed.


Material compiled and edited in 2002 by Hugh Perfect (Dupute Head of Moray House School of Education) and David Starsmeare (Senior Lecturer at Moray House School of Education)