14 Glebe Road, Cramond, Edinburgh, EH4 6NS
Cramond was originally Caer Amon, the fort on the River Almond. The Kirk probably dates back to the post-Roman settlement and stands on the site of the fort headquarters. The tower is the oldest part of the building, dating back to the 15th century although the parapet was not added until 1811. The building has been remodelled twice, once in 1656 and again in 1911, but has retained many features of from its history including the extensive graveyard.
The tower contains a bell cast in about 1619 for the Kirk. The bell, which is still rung before the 11 am service on Sundays, has had an exciting history. Like many other Scottish bells of the 17th century, it was made in Holland, a country of fellow Calvinists.
When Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland in 1651, his soldiers made off with Cramond Kirk’s bell. However, as the kirk’s record shows, “after much solicitation employed and interest made Cromwell’s General Monk agreed to arrange for its return.”
The kirk has several stained glass windows with a record of ministers since the Reformation – one of whom was Robert Walker probably best known as the ‘skating minister’. Robert Loius Stevenson spend time in the village and it helped inspire Kidnapped, and it has also played a part in books by Ian Banks, Ian Rankin and Muriel Spark. The graveyard is extensive and contains the grave of the first casualty of World War Two.
You can find much more about the church’s history on its website or, if you have just ten minutes or so to spare, by watching below a wonderful video tour of the kirk and graveyard made especially for virtual Doors Open Days.