The Restoration of Crichton

Since its formation in 1994, Crichton Collegiate Church Trust has embarked on a phased restoration programme of the church.


The Church is open to visitors on Sunday afternoons, May – September from 2-5pm.

For how to get here, plus information on parking, accessibility and facilities please visit our Contact page.

Phase 1: 1996

The first essential part of the project, to repair the masonry of the tower and restore the roof, was completed with the help of generous grants from Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies.  Historic Scotland made it a condition of grant for this work that the fine suite of stained glass windows installed by Ballantyne and Gardiner in the course of the 1896 restoration should be conserved.

© G. Clark

© Ian S. Lees

Phase 2: 2002

In 2002 we were able to fulfill this condition.  These previous 19th Century windows were restored to their former glory by the skilled craftsmanship of Christian Shaw, stained glass artist and H M Raitt and Sons, builders, under the supervision of Benjamin Tindall Architects.  This was made possible by a further generous grant from Historic Scotland together with a major contribution from Wren Recycling Environmental, additional sums from the Trust, other funding bodies and individual donations.

To view more images of the stained glass click here.

Phase 3: 2012 to present

In 2012 a third major project was completed, namely, a full restoration of the Organ.  This instrument was built by J Brook & Company of Glasgow in 1899.  It is remarkable that it has survived in its original state to this day with only minor overhaul work in the course of over 110 years.  After detailed examination and competitive tendering by 3 firms of organ builders, the Trustees decided that the essential conservation work required to secure the instrument for a further 100 years would be undertaken by Henry Willis & Sons (incorporating J Brook & Co).  Funding was secured with another significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To view more images of the Organ including its restoration, please click here.

In 2013, following the gift of a generous legacy, the Trustees completed a major improvement to the lighting in the church.  Gavin Fraser, a lighting architect based in Edinburgh, created a design that remained sympathetic to the purity and simplicity of the building whilst retaining the much loved existing lighting.  He incorporated additional lights, using the latest lighting technology, which can now be adjusted and controlled independently.  This gives much greater flexibility to meet the specific requirements of each event, concert and service, while also highlighting some of the architectural detail of the building to greater effect.

For pictures of the lighting restoration click here.

In 2018, restoration of the church bell and bell cote was completed.  This work was undertaken by John Taylor & Co., who are based in Loughborough.  They are the last remaining bell foundry in the United Kingdom.

Dating from 1619, the bell was recast in 1702 by the Aberdeen founder Patrick Kilgour, thanks to the generosity of Sir James Justice who lived in nearby East Crichton House.  The work involved fitting a new independent crownstaple to the bell, a new clapper and replacement of the half wheel and headstock in traditional hardwood.  While the bell was away undergoing specialist repair, the masonry on the bellcote was repointed.  The bell was rehung at the beginning of November and rang out at the Service of Remembrance, marking the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The Trustees gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Dalrymple Donaldson Fund, The Leche Trust and WREN – The Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, together with a number of individuals, whose support made this project possible.

For pictures of the bell restoration, click here.

Support Our Work

If you would like to support the Church in its current and future restoration, please see our Friends of Crichton Church page for further information.

Read more…

Founded in 1449, Crichton is one of Scotland’s oldest and best preserved Collegiate Churches.

Lord Crichton led one of the three greatest Scottish families of the fifteenth century.

Our photo gallery contains photos of Crichton Collegiate Church both past and present.

Weddings at Crichton

Located in the Midlothian countryside around 30 minutes from Edinburgh, Crichton Church is a beautiful and unusual setting for a Christian wedding.

What’s On

Find out what’s happening at Crichton Church.

Crichton plays host to a variety of events, including weddings, funerals, concerts and recording sessions.

If you would like to enquire about booking the Church for your own event, please contact the Trustees.

Friends of Crichton Church

Crichton Collegiate Church Trust is a charity. All money needed for the day to day upkeep of this historic building is raised by the Friends of Crichton.

There are Friends scattered around the world, but of course the majority live in the Lothians. Each Friend pays an annual subscription (unless they are a Life Member) and receives an annual newsletter which gives updates on the restoration work and details of the past year’s activities. They also receive a list of the events for the incoming year.

To find out more and download a membership form, click here.

Individual “Friend” – £10

Family – £15

Life membership – £175