14 Glebe Road, Cramond, Edinburgh, EH4 6NS
Phone: 0131 336 2036
The first known settlement in the Cramond area was Mesolithic with a site above the raised beach. The name Cramond comes from Caer Amon, the fort on the River Almond. This was the Roman fort, some of whose foundations are visible and others marked.
The area also contains remains from the two World Wars particularly round the island and there was once a passenger ferry across the Almond to the Dalmeny Estate. Cramond was included in Edinburgh in the expansion of 1920.
The Kirk probably dates back to the post-Roman settlement and stands on the site of the fort headquarters. It means that there was a Christian community here from the 6th century. There is a restored 15th century Tower nearby that once belonged to the Bishop of Dunkeld and was the precursor of Cramond House.
The tower is the oldest part of the building, dating back to the 15th century although the parapet was not added until 1811. There are some possible pre-Reformation walls in the burial vault at the east end. The building has been remodelled twice, once in 1656 and again in 1911, but has retained many features from its history including the extensive graveyard. Adapting to changing circumstances has been a feature of Cramond and that is continuing.
The tower contains a bell cast in 1619 for the Kirk. The bell, which is still rung before the 10 am service on Sundays, has had an exciting history. Like many other Scottish bells of the 17th century, it was made in Holland, a country of fellow Calvinists. When Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland in 1651, his soldiers made off with Cramond Kirk’s bell. However, as the Kirk’s record shows, “after much solicitation employed and interest made Cromwell’s General Monk agreed to arrange for its return.”
The Kirk has several stained-glass windows and displays a record of the ministers since the Reformation – one of whom was Robert Walker probably best known as the ‘skating minister’. Robert Louis Stevenson spent time in the village, which helped inspire ‘Kidnapped’, and it has also played a part in books by Ian Banks, Ian Rankin and Muriel Spark. The graveyard is extensive and contains the grave of the first casualty of World War Two.
We shall be opening our doors to visitors on Saturday 25th September (details below). If you can’t make it along them you can find much more about the church’s history on its website or, if you have just ten minutes or so to spare, by watching below a wonderful video tour of the kirk and graveyard we made especially for virtual Doors Open Days last year.
Visit in Person
Cramond Kirk will be open for visits on Saturday 25th September from 10am until 4pm.
Guided tours of the exterior and kirkyard will commence every 2 hours from 10am until 4pm. Each tour will last no more than 30 mins and numbers will be limited to 12. Booking is not required.
Numbers within the building may be further limited by COVID-related social distancing requirements, where a 2m spacing policy and a one-way system will be in operation. Masks should be worn at all times inside.