Site of Church building

With funds raised by the congregation and a very generous donation from the Earl of Wemyss, the first phase of the church building was constructed in 1770 on the site of the original ‘Lamp of Lothian’ which, from the middle of the thirteenth century until 1555, had been the property of the Franciscan Friars. It was built of a local stone known as Rattlebags, a volcanic agglomerate (a complex breccia made of fragments of lavas). An article in the transactions of the Antiquaries of Scotland published in 1792 describes the building as a very elegant chapel. Holy Trinity Church is a Grade B Listed building and is in the Haddington Conservation Area.



In 1843 the church was Gothicized with the addition of the nave parapet, nave south elevation window surrounds (note the lancet shape), porch and shallow apsidal sanctuary, using a different stone, a finer, pale buff sandstone.

The same year, the committee appointed to report on the state of the building described it as being extremely uniform and homely.

Following completion of the reconstruction, a service of dedication to the Holy Trinity and of consecration was performed by the Rt Rev Charles Terrot, Bishop of Edinburgh, who in 1814 had returned to Scotland to serve as an Incumbent in Haddington.






In 1930, the present Chancel was added to replace the apse and the interior remodelled in neo-Byzantine style by the Scottish architect B N H Orphoot.
The Chancel external walls were built of Rattlebags and sandstone but have reinforced concrete detailing such as columns, arches, decorative bands and the corbel course below the gutter.




The lower parts of the internal walls of the Chancel were finished with marble and a mosaic band, both from Sicily. To the left of the altar the mosaic band surrounds an Aumbry in which the Sacrament is reserved and holy oils are kept for ministry to the sick. To the right of the altar is the original credence table gifted in memory of William Ferme and his son John, both of whom were Treasurers of this church.



In November 1877 the present organ built by Messrs Harrison & Harrison of Durham was used for the first time. Two years of pressure followed by legal action was needed to get the organ delivered and installed.
In 1942 the organ broke down and with the Second World War well under way, no electric blower could be procured. The old water blower, which consumed 155,000 gallons of water a year, had to be repaired and an Organ Restoration Fund was established.



Stained glass

The nineteenth century stained glass in the window at the west of the south side of the church was the centre of three windows in the apse of the original church.
Its inscription reads ‘In memory of James Roughead of Haddington Jane Ord His Wife and Their Daughters Isabella and Christian’. There is another stained glass window on the north side of the altar.


Stations of the Cross

The fourteen Stations of the Cross were painted in acrylics in the 1970s by James Bowman, a former member of this congregation.

These devotions depict specific events of Jesus’ last day and are often found as a series of small icons or images:

1 Jesus is condemned to death
2 Jesus carries His cross
3 Jesus falls the first time
4 Jesus meets his mother
5 Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
6 Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7 Jesus falls the second time
8 Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9 Jesus falls a third time
10 Jesus is stripped of his clothes
11 Jesus is nailed to the cross
12 Jesus dies on the cross
13 The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross
14 Jesus is laid in the tomb



Altar frontal

The altar frontal depicts The Hospitality of Abraham painted by Andrei Rublev in 1411 which is currently held in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Rublev portrays the three mysterious strangers, later revealed as angels, who visited Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent near the great trees of Mamre (Genesis 18:1-15).

Rublev’s icon has since become the quintessential icon of the Holy Trinity.



Given in memory of past members of the congregation, the Reredos was sculpted in 1931 by C d’O Pilkington Jackson. Born in 1887 at Garlenick, Cornwall, Pilkington studied at the newly established Edinburgh College of Art and is more famous for his cast iron equestrian sculpture The Bruce at Bannockburn.

An image of Christ triumphant on the Cross can be seen with the Hand of God the Father reaching from heaven, surrounded by rays of glory representing the Holy Spirit.

17Drawing by Eleanor Cadzow