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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The Gillis Centre Chapel and Gardens

The Gillis Centre Chapel and Gardens

St Margarets Chapel The Giilis Centre Edinburgh

The Religious Significance

The Reformation in Scotland during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots in the mid-16th century, swept aside the established Roman Catholic Church in many parts of the country and what later became the Church of Scotland dominated. Roman Catholicism was still strong, however, in some parts of Scotland and in 1832, Bishop Gillis asked the Ursulines of Jesus to found St. Margaret’s Convent, the first convent after the Reformation.

One of the founding nuns was Sister Agnes Xavier Trail, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. Agnes was a gifted artist who studied under Andrew Robertson, the celebrated miniature painter. She was later converted to Catholicism and, having read about Bishop Gillis’ plans to found a convent, asked to join it. She became Sister Agnes Xavier and, along with another nun, established St. Margaret’s School. Sister Agnes continued to paint and several of her exquisite miniatures are held by the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, one of which is of Bishop Gillis

Our guidebook: Our guidebook has full information on the fascinating history of Gillis, the Convent and the Chapel.

Ths is a print of the St Margaret's Convent as it was in 1835

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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