St Mary's Parish Church

Churches, Cathedrals & Abbeys

Sidegate, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 4BZ

    Huge, fine 14th century church of cathedral proportions. War-torn in C16 century only nave repaired. East end, transepts, tower roofless for 400yrs. Finally restored C20 and again longest parish church in Scotland. Carvings,windows. Shop.

    Remarkably restored, huge, fine C14 church of cathedral proportions. War-torn in C16 century during Siege of Haddington, only nave repaired leaving most of church (choir, transepts, tower) roofless. Ruins stabilised but even now one very crooked pillar! To house growing congregations, nave had many makeovers during last 400yrs; raised arches and lowered floor allowed galleries; excellent late C19-early C20 stained glass windows. Then came the exceptional 1970s restoration of ruins, and so once again longest parish church in Scotland. It has kept many original pre-reformation features - medieval carvings (some close-up photos) including excavated old town crest. Otherwise much recycling; extra matching stone from Edinburgh's Caledonian Railway Station, slates from the Gorbals, Burne-Jones window from Torquay, peel of 8 bells from Aberdeen (rang in millenium), new "stone" vaulting crafted from fibre-glass by Norfolk boatbuilder, a fine, locally built organ. Graves of Jane Welsh Carlyle, John Brown (C18 Minister of Haddington). Old vestry now Lauderdale Aisle (ecumenical chapel over family burial vault).  Good acoustics that once augmented medieval chantings now allow excellent recitals/concerts.

    Booked guided tours. Giftshop. Graveyard Index.

    Lammermuir Music Festival  September.

    Martinmas Fair November

    Opening Times

    Sunday to Friday; 1.30pm - 4pm

    Saturday; 11am - 4pm

    Please check our website before planning your visit in case we are closed for a private service.


    3 Visitor Attraction
    Assisted wheelchair access
    Opening Times
    2015 Opening Times
    1 May 2015 - 30 Sep 2015
    Day Times
    Monday 13:30 16:00
    Tuesday 13:30 16:00
    Wednesday 13:30 16:00
    Thursday 13:30 16:00
    Friday 13:30 16:00
    Saturday 11:00 16:00
    Sunday 13:30 16:00

    Sun - Fri 1.30-400pm; Sat 11.00-400pm. Daily 5min service at 2.00pm wkdays, 12 noon Sat. On Sunday, 9.30am Family Service (praise band); 11.00am Traditional (organ /choir). Guided tours may be booked.


    • Baby Changing Facilities Available
    • Children Welcome
    • Highchair Available
    • Indoor Play Area


    • Town Location
    • Waterfront Location by the river Tyne

    Special Requirements

    • Disabled Citizens


    • Toilets

    Payment Methods

    • Cash

    Wedding Services

    • Religious Ceremony
    • Wedding Packages Available

    Road Directions

    From Edinburgh, follow A1 east (signposted Berwick-upon-Tweed) for approx. 17 miles; leave at 2nd Haddington exit and follow road to town centre. From traffic lights keep going straight on until cemetery on LHS. St Mary's is set back beyond wrought iron gate posts.Limited parking. Enter by door nearest road. Disabled access by door at car park.

    If travelling from east, follow A1 west and exit at 1st Haddington exit, then as above.

    Public Transport Directions

    Express buses from Edinburgh to Market Street Haddington. Use either bus company, but return tickets not interchangeable

    -  First buses X6 (Dunbar) or X8 (Haddington) from Princes Street near M&S; each hourly service, no change given.

    -  Or Perryman 253 ( Berwick-upon-Tweed) from Bus Station; fast, usually 2-hrly; change given.

    5 minute walk from Market Street stop; cross road, walk through any alleyway into High Street and turn left and go to end of street and right into Sidegate; continue along until cemetery on LHS behind wrought iron railings; St Mary's is set back along a driveway. Enter by nearest door.


    Transport within Scotland

    For public transport information to visit here from within Scotland, enter your postcode and visit date below.

    Journey Planner

    Access to Public Areas (Displays, exhibits, rides etc)

    • Level access (i.e. no steps or thresholds) or access by a ramp or lift to :
      • a public toilet
      • a public toilet suitable for visitors who use a wheelchair
      • the gift shop
      • the information point


    • Seating available throughout the attraction at appropriate intervals, for visitors with limited mobility
    • Routes / pathways throughout the attraction suitable for visitors with limited mobility
      • all routes
    • Wheelchairs or other mobility aids provided
      • These are freely available
    • Where appropriate there is a hearing loop system [e.g. ticket counter/ gift shop]
    • There is an audible alarm system

    Attraction Entrance

    • There are steps to the main entrance
      • Number of steps 5
      • There is a handrail by the steps


    • The route from the parking area to the nearest public entrance is :
      • flat, ie. without steps
    • Parking provided for visitors
      • Parking on site
      • With designated parking for visitors with disabilities
      • Within about 50 metres of the attraction

    This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.


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