Tron Kirk
The Tron Kirk is a former principal parish church in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a well-known landmark on the Royal Mile. It was built in the 17th century, and closed as a church in 1952. It was briefly a tourist information centre, but as of 2008 it is unused.

Religious history
The Tron Kirk of Edinburgh was "dedicated to Christ" by the citizens of Edinburgh in 1641, and known as "Christ's Kirk at the Tron". As the South-East parish, it was one of the four early parishes of Edinburgh, subsequent to the Scottish Reformation of 1560. Prior to the erection of this new church, parishioners of the SE parish worshipped in St. Giles' Cathedral. An English traveller, visiting the Tron in 1705, recorded his impression in his diary:""The nobility generally resort to the Tron Church 'which is the principall', and the Lord High Commissioner has a throne erected in it, in a very spatious gallery, on his right hand sits the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and on his left the Lord Provost of Edinburgh." There were special grants of pews made by the Edinburgh Town Council to noblemen, Senators of the College of Justice, citizens of Edinburgh Old Town, Principals and Professors of the University. A full list of seat-holders has been preserved for 1650, the year of the battle of Dunbar, and for 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie was in Edinburgh. Upon the entrance of the Prince to Edinburgh, he intimated that ministers should have full liberty to continue their duties on the following day"Sunday"the only requirement was that in the prayers for the Royal Family no names should be specified. The service at the Tron was taken by the Reverend Neil M'Vicar of St. Cuthbert's, the two Presbyterian ministers at the Tron having quietly left the city. The church was packed and he prayed as usual for King George by name and then added""and as for this young man who has come among us seeking an earthly crown, we beseech Thee that he may obtain what is far better, a heavenly one!" When this was reported to Prince Charles, he is said to have laughed and expressed himself highly pleased at the courage and charity of the minister.

18 year old student Thomas Aikenhead was executed in 1697 for the crime of blasphemy after preachers complained that he had blasphemed against the Tron Kirk and God. Aikenhead was prosecuted for saying "I wish I were in that place Ezra calls hell so I could warm myself" as he walked by the Tron Kirk on his way back from a night of drinking with a few classmates. The baptisms and marriages of many Edinburgh luminaries took place in the Tron, one being the marriage of the famous jurist John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall on January 21, 1669, to Janet (1652”“1686), daughter of Sir Andrew Ramsay, Lord Abbotshall, 1st Baronet, and the first Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and a Senator of the College of Justice (d.1688). On April 25, 1694 Helen (d. January 9, 1714), daughter of George Ogilvy, 2nd Lord Banff (d.1668) by his spouse Agnes, daughter of Alexander 1st Lord Falconer, of Halkerstoun, married Sir Robert Lauder of Beilmouth in the Tron. John Drysdale, who married Mary, daughter of the famous architect William Adam, was a Minister of the Tron Kirk and was also a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, though now he is chiefly remembered for his friendship with Adam Smith, the economist. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met in the Tron from 1830 to 1840"the period of the "Ten Years' Conflict".

Architectural history
The Tron, as it is commonly called, was ordered to be built by King Charles I when he created Edinburgh a City. The land was purchased by the parish from Dr. William Scott, MD, for £1000 Scots. It was erected between 1636 and 1647 to a design by John Mylne, Royal master mason. The design mixed Palladian and Gothic elements, and was inspired by contemporary Dutch architecture. The full Chamberlain's Accounts for this project are still extant. It was shortened in 1785 to accommodate the construction of Hunter Square and the South Bridge. In 1828 a new spire was constructed to replace the original that was destroyed in a fire of 1824. In 1952 it closed as a church and was acquired by the City of Edinburgh Council, the congregation moving to a new church in the Moredun area of the city. It was subsequently left to decay, and the interiors were eventually gutted. Excavations then took place under the church, from within, in 1974, which revealed some foundations of 16th century buildings in Marlins Wynd. A debate continues as to whether the internal destruction of this famous landmark was warranted.

The Tron's position as the traditional focus for Edinburgh's annual Hogmanay celebrations has been reduced in recent years, due to the expansion of the celebrations throughout the city centre.

Building Activity

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