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Edinburgh Central

Point E - John Knox House

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Location: 45 High Street

John Knox House is said to be the final home of John Knox, the leader of the Reformation in Scotland.

The Reformation came to a head in Scotland with the drafting of a Protestant Confession of Faith by the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in 1560.  Knox, who studied under John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, prior to the Scottish Reformation, espoused a very continental Protestantism.

Knox’s radical changes in church governance imbued Scotland with a religious infrastructure which is much closer to that of Northern Europe than of England. More than this, the ideas themselves, which have defined Scotland’s view of itself, and its moral purpose and character over the past 500 years, are defined by European Reformed theology and Calvinism.  

In Scotland, and Edinburgh, scene of some of the worst fighting of the Reformation period, the very air one breathes is one of Calvinism.  It is this link that, at least partly, gives Edinburgh a distinctly European character.

The house is now a museum charting the life of John Knox.

Find out more about John Knox House at this link.

Exit John Knox’s House and turn left down the High Street. Walk 400 metres down the hill (the street becomes called the Canongate). The Canongate Kirk is on your left and the churchyard is behind it.

Picture Credits: Stuart Baillie Strong/Edinburgh4Europe 2021