The Church

Holy Cross Church Davidson's Mains, Edinburgh, interior

Holy Cross has a calm, prayerful atmosphere, treasured by our congregation; even on cold winter days the building has a feeling of warmth and peace. This is in part due to its fine stonework, often commented on by visitors and regulars alike.

Disability access
The church has wheelchair access and a loop system for the hard of hearing.

Architectural style
The church is built in the Romanesque style which was popular at the time, seen for example at St Anne’s Corstorphine (1912). The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh notes that, “the quest for purity led back to the Romanesque, which had a special appeal for rationally-minded churchgoers in the still expanding suburbs”. One might also say that it spoke of the ancient mysticism which was then in vogue. Holy Cross is constructed of local Corstorphine stone in the style masons call ‘random rubble’ – rough cut stone of irregular shape – with the exception of the four pillars and their arches at the crossing, which use ashlars. The interior of the church is handsome bare stonework and speaks of an austere sprituality.

Stained glass windows
Three beautiful stained glass windows add to the warmth and colour of the church.

The east window is a memorial in Scottish stained glass dedicated on 12 October 1930. It was created by the renowned English stained glass designer Christopher R Webb, a pupil of Sir Ninian Comper, and carries his signature, a tiny image of St Christopher, in the bottom right corner.  It depicts the Birth of Jesus with Mary and Joseph in the stable with the ox and the ass flanked by the Shepherds and the Wise Men. At the base of the window are three roundels depicting:

  • St Columba and his monks landing on Iona, representing Celtic Christian tradition in Scotland
  • Holy Cross Church behind an angel holding the Black Rood of Scotland, a reliquary holding a portion of the True Cross which was brought to Scotland by St Margaret and enshrined at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh.
  • St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place, behind St Cuthbert holding the head of St Oswald, representing Northumbrian Christian tradition in Scotland.

On the south wall of the nave are two contemporary stained glass windows, also memorials, by the Scottish designer and window maker Patrick Ross-Smith. When the sunlight shines through these windows on bright mornings, people sitting in the nave are often bathed in blues and yellows picked out from the coloured glass.

Holy Cross Stained Glass

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