8 Edinburgh churches which are lost landmarks and are gone but not forgotten

Even for people who never set foot inside, church buildings are familiar features of most communities – but over the years, many have disappeared.

At least six church buildings in Edinburgh are currently facing closure as part of a massive shake-up by the Church of Scotland across the country in response to a shortage of ministers, dwindling numbers and financial pressures. But closures, mergers and even demolition of buildings is nothing new.

In common with the rest of Scotland, Edinburgh has long had a surfeit of church buildings – due, in large part, to the Disruption of 1843, when around 450 evangelical ministers walked out of the Church of Scotland and formed the Free Church of Scotland in protest at state intrusion on church affairs. The Free Church then built hundreds of new churches for the breakaway congregations. The reunion in 1929 and the more recent decline in attendances has left the church with too many buildings and not enough people.

Here are just some of the Edinburgh church buildings, each with their own history and their place in the community, which have been lost over the decades – closed, demolished, sold, repurposed or even destroyed by fire.