The Gillis Centre is a place of Christian hospitality to which all are welcome.


The Gillis Centre
100 Strathearn Road
Edinburgh EH9 1BB

Tel: + 44 (0)131 623 8933
Fax: + 44 (0)131 623 8944

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Gillis Chapel and Gardens Holiday Accommodation Edinburgh

Gillis Chapel and Gardens Holiday Accommodation Edinburgh

Gillis Chapel and Gardens Holiday Accommodation Edinburgh

Gillis Chapel and Gardens Holiday Accommodation Edinburgh

Download The Gillis Guidebook


Gillis Chapel and Gardens Holiday Accommodation Edinburgh

St. Margaret’s Chapel sits alongside the main building and is a beautiful example of the work of Scottish architect, James Gillespie Graham, one of the leading architects of the mid-19th century. Gillespie Graham’s associate, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, an English architect of considerable fame, had a significant influence on the design. The Chapel was dedicated on 16 June, 1836, the Feast of St. Margaret.

The Chapel is interesting, not only for its architecture but also its history and the sacred objects which are held within it. The tabernacle and the alabaster altarpiece was designed by Pugin, as was, probably, the silver sanctuary lamp. There are several windows which were gifted by families associated with the chapel. Of interest to those who are "fans" of the great 19th-century Scottish novelist, Sir Walter Scott and his home at Abbotsford is that his granddaughter, Charlotte Hope-Scott, who also lived at Abotsford and who was converted to Roman Catholicism, is buried in the Chapel, along with her husband and some of her children and grandchildren.

Of interest within the Chapel are several items.  The High Altar, originally placed before the gold and jewelled tabernacle, was made to a design by Pugin. The altar is inset with panels of green Genoa marble.   There is a large silver sanctuary lamp, made in Edinburgh by Messrs. Cross and Carruthers and attributed to Gillespie Graham, but more
likely to have been designed by Pugin.  There is a figure of Christ, made in ivory, with red garnets to represent the drops of Christ's blood; this was brought from Spain in 1862.

The coloured-glass windows shed a soft light within the Chapel.  All are dedicated to saints or to people associated with the Chapel; too many to list individually, but of note are the windows depicting St. Margaret and St. Ingatius Loyola (from whom the Ursulines drew their inspiration) and, nearby, St. Andrew and St. Augustine (the Uruslines adoped many of the Augustinian principles). There are eight clerestory windows, designed by A. W. N. Pugin and made by Messrs. John Hardman & Co, Birmingham, his favoured manufacturer;  these were completed in 1849 and show King Malcolm III of Scotland, husband of St. Margaret, and eight of their children, including David I, who was responsible for building several of Scotland's magnificent abbeys in the 12th century.

Our Chapel contains much of beauty and of historic interest;  we hope that you will find time to visit it - please ask a member of our Reception staff.

Our guidebook has detailed information on the history of the Chapel and all its treasures - why not download it and read it at your leisure.

Mass is celebrated in the Chapel on a regular basis. We also welcome visits by groups for a special tour – perhaps followed by afternoon tea. If you are a guest at Gillis and would like to visit the Chapel, please ask at Reception.

We are proud of our lovely garden, which is an outdoor haven of peacefulness. Its surrounding wall means that it is sheltered, the noise of traffic is muted and the trees give shade on hot days.  The apple trees are covered in blossom in the spring and in autumn the  fruit is used in apple pies. There is a small sundial which dates from the early 18th century – but in our garden, time can be ignored!   Our guests are welcome to relax under the trees and many do so after a long day exploring Edinburgh. We have several benches designed just for this purpose!  In a corner of the garden is a small grotto, which is a replica of that at Lourdes.

Family gatherings, birthday parties, or corporate events can be held in our garden, daytiem and evening. Refreshments are served in the Islay Hall, which can be specially decorated.  To discuss your requirements, call us on + 44 131 623 8933 or + 44 131 623 8900 or e.mail us on

Scottish Tourist Board 3 Star Guest HouseAccessibility Award Category 2
Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh,
registered charity No. SC008540
Photography © Anna Miloszewska
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