Edinburgh has lots of churches – and there used to be even more. Many church buildings have closed over the years. And while some have been bulldozed and replaced by other buildings, many have survived and been converted to other uses.
And some – like West Register House in Charlotte Square or the nearby Ghillie Dhu at the West End – have become so familiar in their new guise that most people will not give the building’s origins a second thought.
The Hub at the top of the Royal Mile - a public arts venue and official home of the Edinburgh International Festival - dates back to 1842-45, when it was built to house the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
It was also the home of the Kirk's Tolbooth congregation, which later united with two others to become the Highland Tolbooth St John's church. Augustus Pugin helped design the building, whose 245ft Gothic spire is the tallest in the Capital and the highest point in central Edinburgh.
The Assembly moved across the road to the current Assembly Hall in 1929. And in 1979 the Tolbooth congregation united with the nearby Greyfriars Kirk and the building was closed. The Hub was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. As well as hosting performances, it is the Festival's central ticket office and information centre. Photo: Scott Louden
The former Dean Parish Church, at the corner of Ravelston Terrace and Dean Path, was built in 1905 to replace an earlier church on the site.
When the congregation dwindled, unions or links with other churches were explored but it was decided instead to dissolve. The church closed in November 2016 and the building - with its 150ft spire - put up for sale.
It was taken over by the nearby Erskine Stewarts Melville Schools and is used as an assembly hall. Photo: Ian Georgeson
The Mansfield Traquair Centre, next to the roundabout at the foot of Broughton Street, has been hailed as Edinburgh’s Sistine Chapel because of its spectacular murals painted by Phoebe Anna Traquair.
Now a venue for weddings, parties and corporate events, it was originally the home of Edinburgh's Catholic Apostolic Church, a small denomination focused on the Second Coming and deriving its liturgy from the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.
The last priest of the Edinburgh congregation died in 1958 and the church closed. In 1974 the building was sold to the Reformed Baptist Church, then in 1988 to the Edinburgh Brick Company.
The Friends of Mansfield Place Church were founded in 1992 and in 1997 the city council served compulsory purchase order on the Edinburgh Brick Company and the building was bought the following year by the Mansfield Traquair Trust.
Restoration of the murals was completed in 2005. Photo: Julie Bull
Saint Stephens Theatre, at the foot of Howe Street, was for more than 150 years a landmark Church of Scotland building close to the heart of Edinburgh.
It was designed by the renowned Edinburgh architect William Henry Playfair and built in 1827-1828. Its 162ft-high tower has the longest clock pendulum in Europe.
The church was merged with St Bernard's, Stockbridge, in October 1992 to become Stockbridge Parish Church, with the St Bernard's building as the main place of worship and St Stephen's kept for community use.
It has long been a key Fringe venue at Festival time, as well as a popular space for events throughout the year.
Leslie Benzies, former president of Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar North, bought the church for a reported £500,000 in summer 2014.
And in 2017 it was sold to Peter Schaufuss, founder of the English National Ballet School, who announced plans to the main hall a world-class theatre. Photo: Greg Macvean