St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh (Roman Catholic)

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St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral (of the Assumption)
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral Edinburgh.jpg
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral is located in Edinburgh city centre
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral
Shown within Edinburgh
Coordinates: 55°57′22″N 3°11′16″W / 55.9561°N 3.1877°W / 55.9561; -3.1877
Location Edinburgh, Midlothian
Country Scotland
Denomination Roman Catholic
Former name(s) St Mary's Chapel (1814)
Consecrated 1814
Associated people Sir Arthur Conan Doyle christened; under Charles Hargitt The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union (1858), under Arthur Oldham The Edinburgh Festival Chorus and The Scottish Opera Chorus were founded with a nucleus from the Cathedral Choir.
Status Metropolitan Cathedral (of the Province of St Andrews and Edinburgh)
Heritage designation Listed B
Architect(s) James Gillespie Graham 1813-14; Reginald Fairlie War Memorial, High Altar 1921; Baldachino 1927; Augustus Welby Pugin - design
Years built 1814
Archdiocese St Andrews and Edinburgh
Province St Andrews and Edinburgh
Archbishop Leo Cushley
Director of music Emma Turnbull, Director of Music
Organist(s) Simon Nieminski

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is a Roman Catholic church located in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, and the mother church of Scots Catholicism.[1]


The Chapel of St Mary's was opened in 1814, and was originally designed by James Gillespie Graham. The church was considerably embellished over the years, and in 1878 on the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy it became the pro-cathedral of the new Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. It was renamed the Metropolitan Cathedral on 5 July 1886 with all the rights and privileges appertaining to such a Church. The contains the National Shrine of St. Andrew.[2]

The cathedral has been enlarged, rebuilt and remodelled many times over the years, with the last major structural changes commencing in the 1970s. Pope John Paul II visited St Mary's in May 1982 as part of his pastoral visit to Scotland.

Concerts, recitals and theatre pieces are held in the building during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe each August.[3]


  • Mgr Patrick Burke, VG (administrator); Fr Nick Welsh
  • Fr Tadeusz Puton SAC (non-resident), Chaplain of the Polish Mission[4]

Cafe Camino[edit]

The cathedral operates a cafe in an adjoining building. It is used as a venue as part of the Free Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[5]

Architectural notes[edit]

  • Architect: James Gillespie Graham 1813-14
  • Reginald Fairlie - War Memorial, High Altar 1921
  • Baldachino 1927
  • Augustus Welby Pugin (design)
  • Became a pro-Cathedral in 1878 and a Cathedral in 1886
  • Books and References Edinburgh: St Mary's Cathedral 1814-1989 ([1989])
  • NT27SE 497.00 25930 74320
  • NT27SE 497.01 25895 74293 St Andrew's Hall

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh". Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  2. ^ "National Shrine of St. Andrew". St Mary's RC Cathedral. 
  3. ^ "St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral". Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 23 Mar 2016. 
  4. ^ "Polska Misja Katolicka w Szkocji" (in Polish). Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  5. ^ "Cafe Camino". Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 22 Mar 2016. 

External links[edit]