• GREYFRIAR'S KIRKYARD
• GREYFRIAR'S BOBBY
Kirk is now home to the congregation of Greyfriar Tolbooth
and Highland. It took its name from the pre-reformation Francian
friary which stood nearby.
Greyfriar's Kirk was the first church to be built in Edinburgh
after the Reformation and was opened in 1620.
It plays a significant role in Scottish history because it
was here, in front of the pulpit, that the National Covenant
was presented and signed in 1638, This was an extremely important
document in Scottish history and an original copy can be seen
in the visitor's centre. The kirk was used as a barracks from
1650 to 1653 during Oliver Cromwell's invasion of Scotland.
It was also here that over twelve hundred Covenanters were
imprisoned in 1679 awaiting their fate, over one hundred were
hung at the Grassmarket and many were deported overseas as
slaves.The Covenanters prison still exists in Greyfriar's Kirkyard.
Town Council stored its gunpowder in the kirk and in 1781
the Western side of the Kirk was blown up in an accident.
The west side was rebuild in 1721 adding two extra bays in
the original style.
gutted the Kirk in 1845 and detroyed the furnishings and
roof. Restoration took many years to complete and a new single
span roof was installed along with the first stained glass
windows in a Scottish parish church since the reformation.
Later, in 1860 it was also the first Presbyterian church
to have an organ installed to accompany singing.