Basic Site Details

Name: St Giles Cathedral, Chapel of the Order of the Thistle
City or county: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: Final cost: £25,735 2 9 - which exceeded the sum of £22,000 provided for the building and the £2,000 for the endowment.

1920s stonework by A Colville & Co.

East window by Douglas Strachan.

Seven windows by Louis Davis, with tracery lights by Karl Parsons.

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1St Giles Cathedral, Thistle Chapel  

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Chapel  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1High StreetYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 1219091910Build/constructionNew chapel with all fittings and furnishings
Item 2 of 126 November 1909 Foundation stone 
Item 3 of 1219 July 1911 OpenedInauguration by George V (originally planned inauguration on 30 November 1910 having been delayed following death of Edward VII)
Item 4 of 121917 Design exhibited 
Item 5 of 121918 Design exhibited 
Item 6 of 121920 Decoration carried outCredence table
Item 7 of 121927 Decoration carried outAntechapel furnishings, including inscriptions by C d'O Pilkington Jackson
Item 8 of 1219371939Plans drawn upCommunion table in memory of George V (replacing the original investiture chair)
Item 9 of 12July 1943 DedicationCommunion table in memory of George V dedicated
Item 10 of 121962 Build/constructionMemorial to George VI
Item 11 of 124 July 1962 UnveiledMemorial to George VI unveiled
Item 12 of 121983 AdditionInternal porch


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7(Sir) Robert Stodart LorimerArchitectA1909 New chapel with all fittings and furnishings
Item 2 of 7James GrieveArchitect, Clerk of WorksA19091911As clerk of works to Lorimer
Item 3 of 7John Fraser MatthewArchitectB19371939Communion table in memory of George V
Item 4 of 7Alexander Esmé Gordon (or Esmé Gordon)ArchitectC1962 Memorial to George VI
Item 5 of 7Andrew Stewart BrownArchitect, SurveyorD1983 Internal porch
Item 6 of 7James Walter Thorburn Simpson D1983 Internal porch
Item 7 of 7Simpson & BrownArchitectural practiceD1983 Internal porch


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 6Buccleuch, 6th Duke ofOne of the Trustees of the Order of the Thistle
Item 2 of 6H M Office of WorksCommissioned the architect and paid the bills
Item 3 of 6Leven, 12th Earl of (and 10th of Melville)One of the Trustees of the Order of the Thistle
Item 4 of 6McDonnell, Schomberg (Sir)Secretary to the Office of Works
Item 5 of 6Rosebery, 5th Earl ofOne of the Trustees of the Order of the Thistle
Item 6 of 6Trustees of the Order of the Thistle 

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Parent Structure and Site

This structure is related to the following parent structure or site (click the item to view details):
 Building nameNotes
Item 1 of 1St Giles CathedralCHECK Builder refs.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 9Balfour Paul, James (Sir)1911The Knights of the Most Noble and Most Ancient Order of the Thistle: A historical sketch of the order and a descriptive  Edinburgh: Otto Schulze & Co 
Item 2 of 9Boreham, Louise1999The Thistle Chapel: a reassessment of the windows and carving Architectural Heritage vX, 1999, pp54-65 
Item 3 of 9Gifford, John, McWilliam, Colin and Walker, David M1984Edinburgh (The Buildings of Scotland) Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltdp118
Item 4 of 9Hussey, Christopher1931The Work of Sir Robert Lorimer KBE, ARA, RSA London: Country Lifepp 80-83
Item 5 of 9Matthew, Stuart1988The Knights and Chapel of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle: A panoramic view Edinburgh: Eaglebank Publications 
Item 6 of 9Roads, Elizabeth (ed)2009The Thistle Chapel within St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh: The Order of the ThistleDetailed account includes full list of artists and craftsmen.
Item 7 of 9Royal Academy exhibitors    1918, no 1337
Item 8 of 9RSA1917   514
Item 9 of 9Savage, Peter1980Lorimer and the Edinburgh Craft Designers Edinburgh: Paul Harris Publishing, 1980 (also paperback ed, London & Edinburgh: Steve Savage, 2005)p175

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder21 July 1911   
Item 2 of 5Country Life15 July 1911   
Item 3 of 5Scotsman25 February 1910   
Item 4 of 5Scotsman12 July 1911   
Item 5 of 5Scotsman19 July 1911   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 4Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register27381Listing for whole of St Giles
Item 2 of 4Information by emailResearch and biography by Louise Boreham and Neil Brown Sent October 2007
Item 3 of 4National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDrawings Collection EDD 6/130. EDD 6/163A&B. UC 6459 (Framed collection 59)
Item 4 of 4National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSLorimer and Matthew Collection Exhibition photo ED11863. LOR E100/1-17