Built in 1450 as the church of a college established by William Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Orkney, there is nothing in Scotland to match this building. Intended to be cruciform but only the choir was completed – but what a choir!. Lavish decorative stone carving that covers almost every part of the building, inside and out and give the building its fame. ‘Green men’ peer from every corner, every corbel bears a figure, every rib and lintel tells a story. The whole contains hundreds of saints and sinners, angels and demons, knights and peasants . Most famous of the carvings is The ‘Prentice Pillar’ with its spectacular wreaths of foliage spiralling round the column; the legend reports that the master mason, jealous at the skills of his apprentice, killed him on seeing the magnificent carving.
Sundays: 10.30am and 4.45pm
Open all year, Monday to Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm, Sunday 12.00 noon-4.45pm
The information about churches in Scotland’s Churches Scheme has been provided by the congregations or taken from the Historic Scotland list and published sources, in particular, the Buildings of Scotland volumes and the RIAS Illustrated Architectural Guides. To contact this specific church please complete the Contact this Church form above. The information is not authoritative; please contact Scotland’s Churches Trust to let us know of any errors or omissions.