Hire the Assembly Hall

Fergus Linehan, director of the Edinburgh International Festival introducing the 70th anniversary programme.
Credit Eoin Carey

The Church of Scotland is delighted to offer the General Assembly Hall as a venue for your major conference or event. Situated in the historic heart of Edinburgh adjacent to Edinburgh University’s New College, the Assembly Hall is a memorable place to hold your special event.


The Assembly Hall was designed in 1858 by Scottish architect David Bryce, whose other work includes the Bank of Scotland headquarters on The Mound, Fettes College and the original Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
From its earliest beginnings the iconic building was a place where history is made. The 'ecumenical movement' was born here on 14 June 1910 when 1,355 delegates met in Edinburgh for the World Missionary Conference.

Since 1929 this iconic building has been used by the Church of Scotland to host its annual General Assembly. Follow this link to find out more about the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The Assembly Hall made history too in 1948, when the Edinburgh International Festival commissioned theatre director Tyrone Guthrie to produce the 16th century masterpiece Ane Satyre of The Thrie Estaits by Robert Lindsay. Guthrie built the first ‘thrust stage’ especially for the unique setting of the Assembly Hall. The design was so successful it became a model for theatres around the world.
The Scottish Parliament used the General Assembly Hall as its temporary home and debating chamber from 1999 until 2004 while the new parliament building at Holyrood was being constructed.

Facilities and services

The Assembly Hall seats up to 1,250 people in its spectacular oval hall with its vaulted ceilings, multi-tiered seating and overlooking galleries. A striking black and white marble corridor offers access to the hall from the north and is a popular spot for photos.

As well as the main hall, there are a number of ante rooms which are ideal for VIP rooms, small breakout meetings, workshops or presentations. Some of these are also sound-proofed.

Full technical provision and support is available and the hall team can provide additional facilities including electronic voting, broadcast and webcast.

A wide range of catering and refreshment options are available by arrangement. The venue is accessible to wheelchair users from its south entrance. A hearing loop is available.

Usage ideas

The Assembly Hall’s versatile presentation and flexible configuration make it an ideal venue for all kinds of special events. For a week each May it holds the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, while during the rest of the year it hosts large gatherings, lectures, arts and theatrical performances including Assembly Theatre during the Fringe and has been used as a venue for choirs and chamber music.


The Assembly Hall is located at the top of the Mound overlooking Princes Street and backs on to Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, close to Edinburgh Castle in the heart of the city. Entrance is gained from either Mound Place or the Royal Mile. Find out our location here.

Getting there


Edinburgh Airport is served by major airlines that provide direct services from numerous international destinations. There are also more than 90 daily flights to and from London's airports plus regular services from other UK regions. Edinburgh Airport is served by regular bus and tram services that bring travellers into the city centre. The hall is within an hour's drive from the airport. Glasgow International Airport is an hour and a half away by car.


The closest railway station is Waverley Railway Station, just a 5-minute walk from the hall. There is a rail service every 15 minutes to Glasgow and regular services to all other stations in Scotland and the UK. Waverley railway station is approximately 30-40 minutes by bus or taxi from Edinburgh airport.


A number of buses run close to the Assembly Hall every few minutes from across the city, stopping at the top of the Mound, just off Mound Place, or on the Royal Mile itself. Most buses also stop in Princes Street at the bottom of the Mound, which is about 5-minutes away on foot.

Contact for more information

For further information on the Assembly Hall please contact Catherine McIntosh on 0131 225 5722 or email your enquiry to gahallbookings@churchofscotland.org.uk