St Cuthbert's Church
Hidden in the trees to the western end of Princes Street Gardens is the solid and imposing bulk of St Cuthbert's Parish Church. The present church was built in 1892 when traces of at least six earlier church buildings were found.
At the west end of Princes Street is the solid and imposing bulk of St Cuthbert's Parish Church. The present church was built in 1892-94 when traces of at least six earlier church buildings were found.
The cupolas and older steeple peep out at you along Princes Street, or from the train into Waverley Station, yet the church feels removed from the bustle of the West End.
Inside, the basilica layout with its apse and rounded vault, is complemented by the use of coloured stone for a rich and warm effect.
Together, the design of the Communion Table (1894), the marble and alabaster Pulpit (1897) and the ceiling paintings (by Hope and Moira), give a Byzantine feel to the interior.
In the base of the 1775 tower is a small marble-lined chapel to remember the congregational members who died in the 1914-18 Great War. Their names are written on the wall in lead "in alphabetical order without any distinction of rank, their sacrifice and the honour due to them are the same." It was within this Chapel in 1930 that the wedding service for Agatha Christie took place.
The chapel is unique and balances an elegant simplicity with areas of rich colour and light on a modest scale.
When St Cuthbert's Church was decorated, the Italian Renaissance was considered to have been the high point of civilization, so it is not surprising that it was decided to copy some of the best works of that style for the magnificent new interior of the church.
In the apse at the eastern end of the Church is a modified version of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper from Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. To fit in to the building here, the design has been split in three parts and made to curve around the wall. It is made from alabaster by Bridgeman of Lichfield.
Above the Communion Table there is a mural of Christ in Glory (by Robert Hope) while the Four Evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - (by Sir Gerald Moira) are on the ceiling over the Chancel.
The whole effect of the east end of the Church is very rich and warm, with subtle colours from the different stones.
Old Testament scenes (on the north side) and scenes from the Gospels (on the south side) are shown in the windows installed between 1893 and 1912. They have rich decorative borders and an ornamented style.
The exception is a panel showing David on his way to slay Goliath (Tiffany glass). It was installed to commemorate a soldier of the Boer War and is strikingly modern in contrast to the other windows, relying on the deep colours of the glass and simplicity of design.
The three Apse windows depict the Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
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Public Parking Nearby
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