North Leith Parish Church

North Leith Parish Church at the end of Prince Regent Street

North Leith Parish Church is a congregation of the Church of Scotland, within the Presbytery of Edinburgh. It is serves part of Leith, formerly an independent burgh and since 1920 a part of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland.



The current building in Madeira Street (at the junction with Prince Regent Street), Leith, was designed by the architect William Burn and was completed in 1816. It has a notable neo-classical portico (with four large Ionic columns), above which is a clock tower surmounted by a slender spire. A pipe organ (by Wadsworth of Manchester) was added in 1880. The building was damaged by bombing during World War II (in 1941), but was repaired by 1950. It is a category A listed building.[1]

William Burn was also responsible for several other notable buildings in Edinburgh, including the Edinburgh Academy and John Watson's College (now the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art).

St Ninian's Manse incorporates the tower of the 17th-century former parish church


Its origins date back to 1128, when King David I of Scotland granted lands for the construction of Holyrood Abbey. In 1493 Robert Bellenden, Abbot of Holyrood, built St Ninian's Chapel on the north-west bank of the Water of Leith, on lands owned by the Abbey.[2] The small chapel was subsequently rebuilt after the Reformation. The replacement church opened in 1586, and later became the parish church of North Leith, which was created a quoad omnia parish, i.e. a civil and sacred parish, by a resolution of the Parliament of Scotland in 1606. A Dutch-style tower was added in 1675. The discovery of rot in this building in the 18th century led to extensive renovation and the construction of galleries within the building, but the church remained too small for the congregation, leading to its replacement by the current building in 1816 (then in fields just outside the built-up part of Leith). The Dutch-style tower of the old church still stands, although it was later incorporated into a mill.[2]

North Leith Parish Church united with Bonnington Church in 1968, creating Leith North & Bonnington Church (using the Madeira Street building). In 1982, Leith North & Bonnington Church further united with Leith St Ninian's Ferry Road Church, creating the current congregation with the historic name North Leith Parish Church.


The parish largely consists of the north-west part of Leith, including the Fort housing scheme, Leith Docks, including the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Scottish Government offices at Victoria Quay.


The current minister (since March 2011) is the Reverend Alexander McAspurren, who was previously minister of one of the two Church of Scotland congregations in Corby, Northamptonshire.

[3] Recent former ministers include:[4]

  • Reverend Douglas Clarke (1968–1979) - originally inducted to Leith Bonnington Church in 1965, becoming minister of the united Leith North & Bonnington Church in 1968
  • Reverend William G. Neill (1980–1986) - originally inducted to Leith North & Bonnington in 1980, moving to St Andrew's Church, Ayr, in 1986
  • Reverend Alastair G. C. McGregor QC BD (1987–2002)
  • Reverend Dr Kenneth S. Baird (2003–2009).[3]

The Reverend David H. Logan was minister at St Ninian's Ferry Road Church from 1965 until his retirement in 1982, at which point the congregation united with Leith North & Bonnington.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 55°58′33″N 3°10′59″W / 55.97583°N 3.18306°W / 55.97583; -3.18306

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Humbie Parish Church — Parish church name = Humbie Parish Church caption = dedication = denomination = Church of Scotland tradition = Reformed parish = Humbie deanery = archdeaconry = diocese = province = presbytery = Lothian archbishop = bishop = dean = prebendary =… …   Wikipedia

  • Leith — This article is about Leith, Scotland. For other uses, see Leith (disambiguation). Coordinates: 55°58′48″N 3°10′12″W / 55.980089°N 3.170049°W / …   Wikipedia

  • Leith —    LEITH, a burgh and sea port town, in the county of Edinburgh, 1½ mile (N. by E.) from Edinburgh, and 392 (N. N. W.) from London; containing, with the parishes of North and South Leith, 28,268 inhabitants. This place, which is of considerable… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Church of Scotland — Modern logo of the Church of Scotland Classification Protestant Orientation Calvinist Polity …   Wikipedia

  • List of Church of Scotland parishes — The Church of Scotland, the national church of Scotland, divides the country into presbyteries, which are subdivided into parishes, each served by a parish church, usually with its own minister. Unions and readjustments may however result in a… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland — is a complete list of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the present day. Some listed below also currently have their own article. The location of the parish or other post during the Moderator s… …   Wikipedia

  • Roman Catholic Church — The Roman Catholic Church, officially known as the Catholic Church, [] ] Norman, p. 12] Pope Benedict XVI summarized this mission as a threefold responsibility to proclaim the word of God, celebrate the sacraments, and exercise the ministry of… …   Wikipedia

  • Scottish Episcopal Church — The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd. Eaglais Easbaigeach na h Alba) is a Christian denomination in Scotland and a member of the Anglican Communion, although it itself has pre Anglican origins. It consists of seven dioceses in Scotland. Like all… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Scottish Episcopal Church — The history of the Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd. Eaglais Easbaigeach na h Alba) is traced by the church to ancient times. The Church today is a Christian denomination in Scotland and a member of the Anglican Communion. It has enjoyed a distinct …   Wikipedia

  • New Register House — houses the Court of the Lord Lyon as well as the main building of the General Register Office for Scotland, located near St Andrew Square to the east end of Princes Street in the New Town of Edinburgh, Scotland. The building is located in West… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.