Whether you’re practising faith, planning a wedding, or just in search of some stunning Scottish architecture, these churches in Scotland have got you covered.
From overgrown ruins to magnificent cathedrals, Scotland has something for all aficionados of history, architecture and faith when it comes to the churches on display here. Some like Mackintosh Church in Glasgow are famous for being designed by legendary architects like Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Others, like St Giles’ Cathedral in the historic Scottish capital of Edinburgh, have recently dominated headlines for acting as the site where Queen Elizabeth II lay at rest while her body was in Scotland after passing away in Balmoral.
The BBC tells us that the “history of Christianity in Scotland goes back to 400 CE” and so these houses of worship scattered across the country represent a prominent aspect of our Scottish heritage. That said, here are 21 incredible churches in Scotland that were voted in by our Scotsman readers, we hope you enjoy them.
Disclaimer: the list is entitled “Scottish churches” but some liberties may have been taken as to what falls under this term e.g., ruins.
1. St Conan’s Kirk
You can find Saint Conan’s Kirk in the village of Lochawe (Argyll) which is between Dalmally and Oban. Undiscovered Scotland reports: “The new St Conan's Kirk was first used for worship in 1930. It is magnificent, beautiful, remarkable, eccentric and just a little bizarre.” Photo: panr on Flickr
2. The Italian Chapel
This Catholic chapel can be found on Lamb Holm in the Orkney Islands. It was constructed in World War II by Italian prisoners of war who had been housed on the island while they built the Churchill Barriers. Photo: Michael N Maggs on National Churches Trust
3. St Clement's Church
This church is located in the village of Rodel in South Harris (Western Isles). Described as “cruciform” in shape, it was built around 1500 by Clan Macleod and is considered by many as “the finest late medieval church” in Western Scotland. Photo: lucentius on Canva Pro
4. St Giles’ Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral is located on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile which is halfway between the Palace of Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle. It was founded in 1124 by King David I and has been an operational church for roughly 900 years. Photo: CHUNYIP WONG on Canva Pro