A Brief History Of Our Church

Kirkliston Parish Church was built in about 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 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 wearing glasses ( very unusual ). There are also many very old and very interesting graves and headstones in the graveyards, the oldest known one is dated 1529 but no name is readable.

The graveyard also contains the graves of the Earl of Stair, of Kirkliston, and of his grandmother Dame Margaret, the original of 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 it sited today. 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 isle 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 310 parishioners.

On one of the window ledges in the main isle 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 vault are interred the members of the families of Dundas of Newliston and their successors 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.

History Booklet

The Congregational Board has published an A5 size booklet entitled "KIRKLISTON - A PARISH HISTORY" by Donald Whyte. Donald, a local lad, became President of the Scottish Genealogical Society and gained an international recognition in that field. Copies of the booklet are available and can be had by contacting our Keeper of the Rolls, Joe Henderson -


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.

It may be of some assistance to you if you are such a visitor to this website to sign the guestbook, to just say 'Hello', or perhaps leave a brief introduction to yourself and any information you wish to be known. You are welcome to do so.

The Church Bell

The Church bell has had to have a large repair for safety reasons done on it.

It is ringing again on Sundays much to the delight of the village. This is we think the first big repair for 300 + years

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