The Mansfield Traquair Centre is a former Catholic Apostolic Church located at Mansfield Place, beside the roundabout at the foot of Broughton Street on the edge of Edinburgh’s historic New Town. The building was designed by the prominent nineteenth-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson (1834 – 1921) and completed in 1885.
The most outstanding feature of the church is the vast scheme of mural decoration painted in the 1890s by Scotland’s leading Arts and Crafts artist Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936). Mainly due to her wonderful work, the church has been called Edinburgh’s Sistine Chapel, and a jewelled crown.
Mansfield Traquair Centre ceased to be a church in 1958. The churchbuilders apparently believed that the world was going to end so they intended that the building would one day become useless.
The church suffered badly in the years since it ceased to be a place of worship, and damage to both the fabric of the building and the murals was severe. However, the building was rescued in the nick of time.
The Mansfield Traquair Trust was set up in 1993 to preserve this great building, and the magnificent murals within. A multi-million pound renovation of the building was completed in 2002 and the restoration of the murals was completed in 2005.
The Mansfield Traquair Centre is now the national headquarters of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Mansfield Traquair Centre is a Category A Listed Building (HB Number 26849).
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Click here for an aerial view.
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