St Giles’ Cathedral makes historic step onto Scotland’s digital land register

Published: 30 October 2017

One of the most iconic and historically important buildings in Edinburgh has been registered on the digital, map-based Land Register of Scotland.

St Giles’ Cathedral’s property title has moved from the 400-year-old General Register of Sasines onto the modern, map-based land register.

The registration will help complete the land register, which is compiled and maintained by Registers of Scotland (RoS) and will provide a full picture of who owns what across the country.

The land register is a public record of land and property ownership in Scotland, and is due to replace the sasine register by 2024. At present, over 63 per cent of property titles, relating to just over 30 per cent of Scotland’s land mass, are on the register.

Sheenagh Adams, the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said:

“I’m delighted that this iconic building, so significant to visitors and residents of Edinburgh alike, as well as to the Church of Scotland, has been added to the land register. I am sure the registration of St Giles’ Cathedral will benefit the Church of Scotland and its parishioners for generations to come. I know that the collaboration between the Church and our team here at RoS was extremely positive and has shown the good that can come from building positive relationships.”

A spokesperson for St Giles’ said:

“St Giles’ and the Church of Scotland welcome the Land Register of Scotland initiative, which will provide clarity on the ownership of land across the country. St Giles’ is a working church, but is also an iconic building at the heart of the capital, welcoming over a million visitors a year to enjoy the history, architecture and craftsmanship of the building.

“St Giles’ embodies so much of the history of Edinburgh and Scotland; founded in 1124, it has seen wars, monarchs and reformations. We are pleased to see St Giles’ recognised in this twenty-first century digital land mapping project, and look forward to seeing how such an initiative might benefit Scotland for future generations.”

Elspeth Annan, Senior Solicitor in the Church of Scotland Law Department, said:

“It makes sense for us to have our titles transferred to the land register. The process was straightforward and we are happy with the title that RoS has produced. St Giles’ Cathedral being on the register means that future generations will find it easier to examine the title, which benefits everyone.”

St Giles’ has been firmly at the heart of Edinburgh life since its founding in 1124.  It has associations with John Knox and played a key role in the Reformation.


Notes for editors:

  • Registers of Scotland (RoS) is the non-ministerial government department responsible for compiling and maintaining 18 public registers.
  • These relate to land, property, and other legal documents.
  • RoS has been asked by Scottish Ministers to complete the land register by 2024, creating a national asset for Scotland that should make future transactions on land and property easier, faster and less expensive.

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