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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St Margarets Convent, St. Margaret of Scotland, Pilgrim Journeys in Scotland, Dunfermline Abbey , Edinburgh

© Crown Copyright reproduced courtesy of Historic Scotland.

Abbey Church of Dunfermline copyright Mr Alexander Curruthers

Abbey Church of Dunfermline copyright Mr Alexander Curruthers

Abbey Church of Dunfermline copyright Mr Alexander Curruthers

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St Margaret's Pilgrim JourneyAt the Gillis Centre is a small and beautiful chapel dedicated to St. Margaret, perhaps Scotland’s best loved saint. St. Margaret was the wife of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scots in the 11th Century, and mother of King David I, who was responsible for the founding of abbeys such as Melrose and, Dryburgh in the Scottish BordersGillis is, therefore, an ideal starting point for a journey to pay homage to St. Margaret and the work she did, with her husband, to bring together the people of Scotland.

St Margaret of Scotland (c. 1045 – 16 November 1093), was Queen Margaret of Scotland, an English princess, born in exile in Hungary, Her family returned to England in 1057, but fled to Scotland following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. About the year 1070 Margaret married Malcolm III (Malcolm Canmore) of Scotland. At this time, Scotland was still a country of different tribes, not yet formed into one nation. 
Margaret was a pious woman and among her many charitable works, she established a ferry across the Firth of Forth for pilgrims travelling to Dunfermline Abbey
which she founded for the Benedictine order of monks;  here you can see the shirine built for her.  Under the stones in the choir is buried Robert the Bruce,
Scotland's hero, who gained the nation's independence from English rule in the early years of the 14th Century.

It is thought that Queen Margaret died in 1093  in Edinburgh Castle  (where there is a small chapel dedicated to her), just days after her husband was killed in battle. In 1250 she was canonised by Pope Innocent IV and her remains were reinterred in a shrine in Dunfermline Abbey just across the Firth of Forth. However, it is believed that her relics were dispersed after the Scottish Reformation in the 16th Century and they were lost. Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland. Her son, King David I of Scotland (1083-1153) founded some of the most important abbeys in Scotland, including Melrose and Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, an area easily reached from the Gillis Centre.

The Saint Margaret Pilgrim Journey: A Simplicity of Heart
You can follow a route between Edinburgh to St. Andrews, via Dunfermline, where Queen Margaret was buried and enjoy the riches of Celtic and medieval heritage. Margaret’s is a pathway of meditation and devotion. You can travel by car or by train and by bus.  From the Gillis Centre, travel to Dunfermline Abbey in Fife and then on to St. Andrews, to visit this historic town, where the Cathedral, now a ruin, was once one of the largest in Europe.


Pilgrim JOurney

For informaton on the other Pilgrim Journeys in Scotland visit

For information on Dunfermline Abbey,



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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