Our Christian Heritage
There has been a church in this area for 1,400 years. Abercorn Church is mentioned by the Venerable Bede in his chronicles. It was dedicated to St. Serf, who lived in the 5th century, so almost certainly Abercorn Church pre-dates Columba’s foundation in Iona. Despite its numerous additions and a complete reconstruction in 1893, the present building dates from the 12th century.
Nature points to the probability of an early settlement at the most suitable place for the lower passage of the Forth. The Anglo-Saxon Princess, Margaret Atheling, a refugee from William the Conqueror, arrived in Scotland in 1067. Four years she married the King, Malcolm Canmore. Queen Margaret had a great civilising and religious influence on her husband and on the people of Scotland. Domiciled in Dunfermline, she travelled frequently to Edinburgh, crossing the Forth at the narrows, and eventually giving her title to the ferry and to the little havens on both shores - “Queensferry”.
Dalmeny Church was founded in the 12th century by Gospatric whose grandfather, another Gospatric, had fled from William the Conqueror. This was the time when the parish system was being evolved. South Queensferry was a small hamlet in the parish of Dalmeny until 1635 when it became a separate parish. Dalmeny Church is the most complete example of Romanesque architecture remaining in this country.
The Priory Church
The Priory of the Carmelites dates from 1330, and was founded by the Laird of Dundas. The present building dates from the mid 15th century. The church was really the chapel of the monastery and would be used by the local population. Around 1560, during the Reformation period, the Church was closed, the friars dispersed and the building restored to the Dundas family. The church was used as the local church for Queensferry in the early 17th century. After that it was allowed to fall into ruin until 1899 when it was taken over by the Episcopal Church in Scotland.