St Anthony's Chapel

St. Anthony's Chapel, Holyrood Park
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

St. Anthony's Chapel, Holyrood Park

Located above Haggis Knowe, on the north side of Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park is the ruined St. Anthony's Chapel. High above St. Margaret's Loch and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, remarkably little is known about this chapel, which is thought to date from the early 15th Century. Records show that the Pope gave money for its repair in 1426. It may have been associated with the Knights Hospitallers of St. Anthony of Leith and was positioned so that they see ships arriving in the Firth of Forth and welcome them with a light in the tower. St. Anthony was associated at the time with the healing of skin conditions, and the chapel lies above St Anthony's Well which was said to have curative properties. An alternative is that the chapel was established by the Tironensian monks of Kelso Abbey, who owned a section of Holyrood Park at that time, to overlook their Augustinian brothers in Holyrood Abbey, although it was reading about St. Anthony's life in the desert that brought Augustine's conversion to Christianity. The buildings include the chapel itself, of which little other than the north and part of the west walls remain and nearby a 'hermitage', which was most-likely a store-room. The last known chaplain was in 1581 and the chapel was a ruin by the 18th Century.

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