St Margaret's Chapel is the oldest building in Edinburgh, and one of the loveliest examples of Norman architecture in Britain. It is very small and simple in design.

Until recently, it was thought to have been the very chapel where Queen Margaret worshipped, but it is now believed to have been built by her son King David at the beginning of the 12th century.

When the Earl of Moray captured the castle in 1314, the chapel was the only building that was not destroyed, and, Robert the Bruce is said to have ordered, on his deathbed, that it be repaired.

The chapel has had many uses over the years, and was even a gunpowder store in the 16th century. In 1853, it was restored by Sir Daniel Wilson, who filled in the five small windows with stained glass, which were replaced in the early 1920s by Dr Douglas Strachan's telling representations of St Andrew, St Ninian, St Columba, St Margaret, and also Sir William Wallace. Sir David Russell was largely responsible for its further restoration in the early 1930's.

In 1993, to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the death of St Margaret, Historic Scotland renovated the chapel and St Margaret's Chapel Guild refurbished it. Mrs Hanna Paterson, MBE, designed and worked a lovely altar cloth depicting in texture, colour, and symbol the life and work of St Margaret. Piers Kettlewell, cabinet maker, made ten bench seats, an alms chest, a flower stand, and a display case for the St Margaret's Gospel book facsimile. Each oak bench seat has lime wood roundels at either end, one roundel on each seat bearing a carved emblem associated with St Margaret.

On St Margaret's Day, 16th November 1993, the enriched chapel was dedicated by the President of St Margaret's Chapel Guild, The Reverend Charles Robertson, Minister of Canongate, and the Right Reverend Mario Conti, Bishop of Aberdeen, in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret, Patron of St Margaret's Chapel Guild. A wrought-iron memorial candlestick, designed and made by Philip Johnson, was added to the chapel in 2000.

Members of St Margaret's Chapel Guild ensure that there are always fresh flowers in the chapel to greet those who come to visit and to pray there or to take part in services of Holy Baptism and Holy Matrimony.

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St Margarets Chapel Guild 2002
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