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Church of the Holy Rude

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Located in the town of Stirling, the Church of the Holy Rude was first built around 1129AD. It shares the same commanding hill and defensive ridge with Stirling Castle. The second oldest building in the town it is adjacent to the ruins of Mar’s Wark which dates from 1572 and was the onetime residence of the Earl of Mar and Keeper of Stirling Castle. The name Holy Rude often confuses international tourists but actually just means Holy Cross. The original church was destroyed in the great fire of 1405. It was rebuilt over the following decades and that structure has survived now for over 500 years becoming one of the best preserved Medieval churches in Britain. On 29 July 1567 King James VI was crowned King of Scots at Holy Rude Church. Experts believe that of all the churches used for royal coronations in Britain only this church and two others are still functioning today. The other two are said to be Gloucester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. However, even the Church of the Holy Rude has had its problems. For nearly 300 years the church was divided into two sections and effectively served two different congregations and all because of an argument started by the Reverend John Guthrie. A difficult man by all accounts, he was eventually executed for treason in 1661 but the wall in the church survived until 1936. There is a legend that claims that King James IV personally helped the masons to build a section of the church during the 16th century. There are bullet scars on the church tower that are believed to date back to the siege of Stirling Castle by Parliamentarian forces in 1651.

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Contact Details

  • Address: St John Street, Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom, FK8 1ED
  • GPS: 56.12080833,-3.944658333
  • Phone: 0044 (0)1786 475 275
  • Part of UK: Scotland
  • Sat Nav Postcode: FK8 1ED
  • Entrance Fees: Free entry
  • Disabled Access: Limited disable parking in the driveway of the Church
  • Visibility from Road: Excellent

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