What we’re doing

We are restoring a historic and valued building to give it a great future as a place of worship and a centre for the community of Morningside and Bruntsfield.

The Old Schoolhouse in Morningside has been at the centre of the community for almost 200 years. In 1823 the building was opened as a school and place of worship serving Morningside, Swanston, Fairmilehead and Lothianburn.

Old Schoolhouse, Morningside c1900

Old Schoolhouse, Morningside c1900

The Project

Cornerstone, a Christian congregation, was entrusted with the Old Schoolhouse in 2013 and it is now used as a base for community groups, as well as a place of worship. At almost 200 years old the building is in need of refurbishment. In 2019 we aim to complete our project to restore and remodel the Old Schoolhouse. Our project has four aims:

  • Refurbish the building in a sympathetic manner

  • Modernise and make the space fully accessible.

  • Provide a safe, secure and welcoming space for the people using the Old Schoolhouse. 

  • Ensure that the Old Schoolhouse is enjoyed by the people of Edinburgh for generations to come

We want to restore and enhance this unique building – can you help?

Visualisation of the main hall after the project

Visualisation of the main hall after the project

behind the design

After detailed collaboration with architects Mills + McCullough (www.mills-mccullough.com) we are pleased to have secured planning permission for a design that makes all our aims possible. Their sympathetic design makes the best use possible of the building and its surroundings. The design creates an accessible and flexible space whilst honouring the original 1820s architecture. 

The Old Schoolhouse is a Grade B listed building so the renovation will be well considered and in harmony with the building and the surrounding area. 

Two Cornerstone members chatting over coffee

Two Cornerstone members chatting over coffee

Behind the project

In 2013 the Old Schoolhouse was gifted to Cornerstone, a church plant of St Columba’s Free Church of Scotland. We are keen to refurbish the building to make it a modern, welcoming and secure space for everyone who uses it. 

As of January 2019, the congregation is made up of around 100 adults and 40 children. Our youngest member is a few months old and our oldest is in his early eighties. About 10 different nationalities are represented. Most of our adult members work in Edinburgh, and there are also students and retired people.

We are enthusiastic about the project and have already raised over £60,000 towards the costs. We look forward to being able to open up our building to more people from the Morningside community.