St Michael's Parish Church and Kirkyard – Inveresk, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

St Michael's Parish Church and Kirkyard

Inveresk, Scotland

This 19th-century sanctuary was built atop a hill that once housed a Roman fort. 


This area has a long human history. Following the Roman occupation of the British Isles, a fort was constructed here in the late first century. There are records of a church on this site that date as far back as the sixth century.

The current building dates from 1806 and is known as “The Visible Kirk.” Nearly a century later, in 1892, a Lewis organ, one of only a few in Scotland, was installed in the interior of the church.

The surrounding kirkyard has been in use as a cemetery since before the current building was finished. It continues to be used as a final resting site to this day.

Many of the graves and monuments on the cemetery are notable, including one that memorializes the seven fishermen from Musselburgh who died in the Eyemouth Disaster, where a strong storm caused the deaths of at least a hundred fishermen in the waters off southeast Scotland. The hilltop location of the church and graveyard allow for a great view of some of these waters, as the nearby Firth of Forth can be seen from here.

Know Before You Go

Musselburgh can be reached from Edinburgh via bus routes 26, 44 and 124. The church is only open for Sunday service as well as by appointment via its website.

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