Angels of the Holy Rude

Left is a photo I took of one of the many angels you can find throughout the graveyard surrounding the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling, Scotland. In the background (I believe but could be wrong) is the Star Pyramid: build by a well known and very religious Stirling citizen — William Drummond. He build the Pyramid in dedication to many of the Scottish who died as martyrs for refusing to renounce their faith.

Another such monument (also built by Drummond) is the Martyrs’ Monument, built for sisters Margaret and Agnes Wilson from Wigtown (a.k.a. the Wigtown Martyrs). As the story goes, 18 year old Margaret Wilson and her sister Agnes were tied to stakes in the Wigtown Bay and drowned by Covenanters in 1685 for refusing to give up their protestant faith. The inscription on the monument says: “MARGARET / VIRGIN MARTYR OF THE OCEAN WAVE / WITH HER LIKE-MINDED SISTER / AGNES.” You can see the white monument (black and white photo) in the photo gallery below.

There are also plenty of angels inside the Holy Rood Church. There’s the popular Angel window: installed in 1868 it’s a tiny nondescript window that sits high up in the church amongst panels upon panels of intricate stain glass windows.

The church itself was built in the 12th Century with the oldest surviving part dating to the 15th Century. It’s history is as long and detailed as Stuart history is bloody: Mary Queen of Scots, worshipped in the Holy Rude alongside many a peasant; John Knox was one of the more famous preachers to preach in the church. He also happened to be involved in the crowning of Mary’s one year old son James VI King of Scots in 1567. On the floor in the apse is an inscription commemorating this (unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997).

Finally, a silly piece of history: in 1656, following a dispute, the congregation split in half and a dividing wall was built in the church. The wall remained until 1936 when it was finally removed.

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