Excerpt from Illustrated Guide to St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, and the Chapel of the Thistle St Giles, or Sanctus Egidius, in whose honour the church was erected, was a renowned mediaeval saint of whom there are numerous legends. He is said to have been a. Native of Athens in Greece and of royal lineage. Artists have usually painted him in the garb of a monk, with a hind pierced by an arrow, either at his feet or in his arms. He died at the Abbey of Arles in Provence about less than fifty years after his death he was canonised, and throughout Europe the chapels dedicated to St Giles were in number next those of the Virgin Mary. In England alone there were 146 churches erected 111 his honour. The best known in Scotland is that of Edinburgh. On the site of this early church, Alexander I. Of Scotland erected a massive Norman structure about 1120. The larger portion of this Church was destroyed by Richard 11. Of England in 1385 rebuilding was commenced two years later and the Church greatly enlarged. During the fifteenth century extensive additions were made, and the picturesque Lantern Tower was probably completed in 1495. This is substantially the St Giles' of the present day.
At the Reformation the interior was defaced and robbed of its artistic adornments, after which it was divided into four separate Churches.
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