ABSTRACT

This chapter looks at various aspects of the church in the Scottish landscape beginning with the early sixteenth century, then considering the changes which occurred at the Reformation and finally tracing their effects through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The reformers in the mid-sixteenth century made scathing attacks on the laxity and worldliness of the monks, friars and nuns in Scotland’s religious houses. Collegiate churches fared better than monastic ones after the Reformation. Many already served as parish churches and their smaller size made them more easily adaptable to the new forms of worship than the great abbey churches and cathedrals. In medieval Scotland all parts of a church were considered to offer a degree of sanctuary and this often included the churchyard and the area around it. A number of pilgrimage sites continued to attract visitors, and royal patronage, into the sixteenth century.