The Mansfield Traquair Church was formerly a Catholic Apostolic Church. This movement founded around 1831 predicted a ‘second coming of Christ’ and was led under self proclaimed apostles. One of those was a former Church of Scotland minister : Edward Irving who was a friend of Thomas Carlyle, essayist and translator. Irving was a very charismatic preacher but lost his reputation through predictions of a rapidly approaching apocalypse and was eventually excommunicated.
Although the building no longer functions as a church it is used as a venue for varied functions and is available for hire.
it is informally regarded as Edinburgh’s “Sistine Chapel” due to the amazing colourful paintings of Old and New Testament scenes by “Arts and Crafts” artist Pheobe Anna Traquair. The journey of the spirit is interpreted as ‘The Parable of the Ten Virgins’ on the chancel side aisles. There are also Apocalyptic images for the great chancel arch and the ‘Second Coming of Christ’ on the west wall. The artist was heavily influenced by Michelangelo Buonarroti on a visit to Italy but unlike him she painted her wall cycle without assistants.
Look out also for the intricate “Baldachin” or altar canopy at the east end of the building.