City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Greyfriars Kirk


Greyfriars Kirk
2 Greyfriars Place
Edinburgh EH1 2QQ
Greyfriars Kirk
Venue details
Edinburgh Area: 
Old Town Edinburgh
Telephone (box office): 
0131 226 0000
Edinburgh Fringe Venue: 
131

Greyfriars Kirk, also known as Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland Kirk, was the first church built in Edinburgh after the Reformation and opened in 1620. As well as being an operational church it also hosts classical recitals and concerts and is a venue at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The kirk graveyard is perhaps best known as the final resting place of the little Skye terrier Greyfriars Bobby and his master "Old Jock." Greyfriars Bobby's gravestone is one of the first that you see on entering the church graveyard from the entrance at Greyfriars Place. Old Jock's gravestone is a little further down the hill. The story goes that Bobby kept watch over his master's unmarked grave for 14 years, only leaving for food, until his death in 1872.

The Visitor Centre also has an American flag that once hung in the Whitehouse, gifted to the church to mark the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers first landed in the New World and Greyfriars Kirk opened on the same day: Christmas Day 1620.