Church of the Holy Rude

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A view from Stirling Castle.
A view from Stirling Castle.

The Church of the Holy Rude is the medieval parish church of Stirling, Scotland. The church was founded in 1129 during the reign of David I, but earliest part of the present church dates from the 15th century. As such it is the second oldest building in Stirling after Stirling Castle, parts of which date from the later 14th century. The chancel and tower were added in the 16th century.

Stirling Castle has long been a favoured residence of the Scottish monarchs, and was developed as a Renaissance palace during the reigns of the later Stewart Kings. The Church of the Holy Rude, adjacent to the castle, became similarly associated with the monarchy, hosting royal baptisms and coronations. It is one of three churches still in use in Britain that have been the sites of coronations.[1][a]


A view from Stirling Old Town Jail.
A view from the roof of Stirling Old Town Jail

The church was founded in 1129 but nothing of this early structure now remains due to a fire. Construction on the new nave was underway by 1414, and based on the evidence of carved heraldry the vault of the nave was completed between 1440 and 1480. Work on the chancel did not commence until 1507 and completed around 1530 which was when the west tower was also extended to its current height. King James VI was crowned King of Scots in the church on 29 July 1567. Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney performed the ceremony, and John Knox preached a sermon.



  1. ^ History of the church, Church of the Holy Rude website

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Coordinates: 56°07′15″N 3°56′40″W / 56.120882°N 3.944521°W / 56.120882; -3.944521