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Review Highlights
A hidden gem

Visited with a group of friends as part of Doors Open Day. What a small but beautiful chapel. A... read more

Reviewed 2 October 2018
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Make time to visit this delight.

If you visiting the Grassmarket make sure you take time to go along the Cowgate and a short... read more

Reviewed 30 September 2018
Michael G
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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  • Excellent48%
  • Very good46%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
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Magdalene Chapel 41 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JR, Scotland
Old Town
+44 131 220 1450
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Most Helpful Positive Review
Reviewed 9 October 2011

The Magdalen Church sits below the George IV Bridge on the famous Cowgate. The imposing church looms right over the footpath. The small street and the proximity of the church make for a fantastic atmosphere, gloomy and foreboding somehow. Well worth a look.

4  Thank Fiver75
Most Helpful Critical Review
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Very small and at one time entry was restricted. (Has this changed?) However it does have the only surviving pre-Reformation glass in Edinburgh. It also has "The Blue Blanket" - the battle standard of the Edinburgh Tradesmen. Short visit only.

3  Thank Charlie H
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All reviews pre reformation stained glass scottish reformation cowgate grassmarket intact scotland history guide
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1 - 10 of 13 reviews
Reviewed 2 October 2018

Visited with a group of friends as part of Doors Open Day. What a small but beautiful chapel. A guide gave a very informative talk. Definitely a must see. The stained glass window is lovely.

Thank KWells2014
Reviewed 30 September 2018

If you visiting the Grassmarket make sure you take time to go along the Cowgate and a short distance along, on your right, you will find the Magdalen Chapel wedged in between its rather grimy neighbours. There's little on the outside to hint at what...More

Thank Michael G
Reviewed 10 July 2018

The Magdalen Chapel was founded on its current site in about the year 1541.There are four stained-glass shields in the center window. This is the only pre-Reformation stained glass in Scotland which is still intact. If you are interested in the history of the Scottish...More

Thank vinceclark
Reviewed 22 June 2018

Having lived in or near Edinburgh all my life I was entranced by this little chapel - so old, so authentic and so fascinating- and yet, such a surprise. Our guide was charming and very knowledgeable but even she did not know it’s whole story,...More

Thank Fiona S
Reviewed 23 May 2018

Walking up the street and noticed many plaques on the wall. Telling us it was the house of the Magdalen Chapel. Never heard of them. Inquired and was told. Started 1540 odd. All that history and had no idea. Only a small venue but worth...More

Thank AngusR56
Reviewed 4 March 2018

Be aware that the Chapel is only open certain days. It is a small chapel built in the mid 16th century to pray for the soul of Mary Queen of Scots and to provide a chapel for the Hammermen, one of the original guilds that...More

Thank Charles R
Reviewed 2 June 2017

The chapel is somewhat out of the way but is well worth the trouble of finding it's location. It is only open on certain days so check availability. Others have written more fully on the chapel, suffice it to say that it is definitely a...More

1  Thank louiedebounce
Reviewed 26 September 2016 via mobile

If around the Cowgate area of town then this is a must see. Don't be fouled by the front. The chapel is a marvel of history inside. Centred around The Scottish Reformation. Please check times as only open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

3  Thank EdinburghChaz
Reviewed 14 May 2015

Visiting this is a MUST for anybody interested in church history. It was built in the 1540s (before the Reformation). It may have been the venue for the first General Assembly of the reformed Church of Scotland in December 1560, and was certainly the venue...More

3  Thank Robert D
Reviewed 10 September 2012

The wood work is amazing and history is engraved everywhere, worth a 30 minute visit at least. Best to pre-arrange. I went on a Door Open Day and there was a guide.

3  Thank NealeGEdinburgh
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Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its
labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests
this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly
visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers
that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the
place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as
the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal
Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the
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