A Brief History Of Our Church
Kirkliston Parish Church was built around AD1200. The south arched doorway, a very popular back drop for photographs, is said to be very like the west doorway of Holyrood. The Bell Tower is a bird cage belfry with a single bell. The bell is dated 1687 and it is still rung to this day to call people to worship.
South east of the arched doorway is a gravestone with two carved heads, both of which are wearing glasses (very unusual). There are other very old and interesting graves and headstones in the graveyards. The oldest known one is dated 1529, but the name on this stone is no longer readable.
The graveyard also contains the graves of the Earl of Stair, of Kirkliston, and of his grandmother Dame Margaret, the original Lady Ashton in Sir Walter Scott’s “Bride of Lammermoor”. The church formerly belonged to the Knights Templars, hence the ancient name of the place, Temple Liston.
Inside the Church in the west organ loft is a wonderful pipe organ that was once sited downstairs where the pulpit is currently located. The entry to the stairs and up to the organ gallery is the oldest part of the Church. Entry to the bell tower is from a very small door on the same stair well.
There are a number of wonderful stained glass windows to be viewed directly behind the pulpit on the south wall.
On the wall in the east aisle is a copy of the Solemn League of Covenant, 1643. This historic document contains the names of the Session Clerk at the time (Master John Booke) and of 310 parishioners.
On one of the window ledges in the main aisle is a curious model of the church as it was between 1859-1884.
There have only been twenty-one ministers of the church since 1569.
In the church’s vault are interred the members of the families of Dundas of Newliston and their successors – the Dalrymples of Stair and the Hogs.
If you are visiting Kirkliston and would like to see round this historic church please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be delighted to show you round. If you would like to view the church, pleae contact Joe Henderson – Joe.W.Henderson@btinternet.com
The Congregational Board has published an A5 size booklet entitled “KIRKLISTON – A PARISH HISTORY” written by Donald Whyte. Donald, a local lad, became President of the Scottish Genealogical Society and gained international recognition in that field. Copies of the booklet are available and can be obtained by contacting Joe Henderson – Joe.W.Henderson@btinternet.com
Joe has had many enquiries from people through this website looking for their ancestors or researching their family tree, and others studying History from countries including America, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Russia and Southern Ireland.
Kirkliston Parish Church is proud of its History and Heritage and will always welcome approaches of this nature.