The massive structure of St. Stephen's Church lies dramatically at the bottom of St. Vincent Street in the Stockbridge district of Edinburgh's New Town. It provides a focal point at the end of the slope running down Frederick Street and Howe Street. Building was made difficult because of the sloping site, but this challenge was taken up by W.H. Playfair in 1828.
The exterior is basically square, but diagonally-built with a corner facing the street, to which the cavernous arched porch entrance is attached. Beneath are large tunnel-vaulted cellars, which once contained an evening school, opened by the first minister of the church, Dr. William Muir, for the education of his illiterate parishioners.
The interior was reconstructed in 1956, the church having become to large for its congregation. The internal fittings, by architect David Rhind (1808-83), and the Willis organ were retained.