12/10/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Where is John Knox buried?

f36c91d2-3f2e-4594-805d-7e0717bab577

We tell the story of the burial place of Scottish religious preacher and reformer John Knox, whose final resting place was discovered to be below an Edinburgh car park.

Who was John Knox?

John Knox was born near Edinburgh c.1505 and educated at the the universities of Glasgow and St Andrews. He was ordained as a priest some time before 1540 (when he is first mentioned so in documents) and his works and sermons were heavily influenced by the sermons of reformer and martyr George Wishart.

After spending 19 months as a galley slave when he was captured by the French at St Andrews Castle, Knox spent time in mainland Europe, returning to Scotland in 1555. When the Reformed Protestant religion was ratified by law in 1560 he became a minister at St Giles in Edinburgh, a position which put him at odds with Mary Queen of Scots, who attended the church to hear his sermons. Knox is the author of History of the Reformation, a five-volume work written between 1559 and 1566.

The burial place of John Knox

John Knox is commemorated by a six-foot bronze statue in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, however his actual burial place is spot number 23 in a car park to the rear of the cathedral. This car park was once part of the cathedral kirkyard and later covered over, with the original burials left in situ. A metal plate marks the spot of the burial site.

Other sites connected with John Knox in Edinburgh include the John Knox House on the Royal Mile, where Knox once lived, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, home to Knox's arch enemy Mary Queen of Scots. There is also a statue of Knox at New College.

(image copyright Kim Traynor)

Back to "Scottish history" Category

12/10/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

The Quintinshill Rail disaster occurred - On this day in history

The Quintinshill Rail disaster, one of the worst train disasters in UK history, occurred on 22 May 1915.


Great Tapestry of Scotland opens at New Lanark

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is on display in the newly-developed exhibition at the UNESCO World Heritage ...


Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming died - On this day in history

Pioneering Scottish female astronomer Williamina Fleming died on 21 May 1911.


The Battle of Nechtansmere was fought - On this day in history

The Battle of Nechtansmere (or Blar Dhun Neachdain) was fought on 20 May 685AD. ...


Other Articles

Author and diarist James Boswell died - On this day in history

Author and diarist James Boswell died on 19 May 1795, at the age of 54. ...


Photographer David Octavius Hill died - On this day in history

Pioneering photographer David Octavius Hill died on 17 May 1870.


The town that floored the world - new BBC Scotland documentary on Kirkcaldy

A new BBC Scotland documentary tells the story of the east coast town of Kirkcaldy and its role in the ...


Scottish explorer Sir Alexander Burnes was born - On this day in history

Scottish explorer Sir Alexander Burnes was born on 16 May 1805.