Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunkeld, Scotland


Dunkeld Cathedral Tower
1900s
Publisher: G.W. Wilson & Co. (1852-1908)

Google Street View (approximate).

Canmore entry (has images including a floorplan)

The history of Dunkeld can be traced to the ninth century when it emerged as an important religious centre for the early Celtic Church. No building of this period survives, the present Cathedral dates from 1318. Partly destroyed during the Reformation (1560), the choir is roofed and now serves as the parish church for regular Sunday worship. The rest of the cathedral is ruinous, but is preserved as an Ancient Monument in the care of Historic Scotland
Dunkeld Cathedral

In 849, relics of St Columba were removed from Iona to protect them from Viking raids. They were brought to Dunkeld by King Kenneth MacAlpin, who appointed a bishop at Dunkeld. Columba became the patron saint of Dunkeld and its monastery. The see was revived in the early 1100s, when Cormac became Bishop of Dunkeld. The cathedral developed over about 250 years, and the earliest surviving part is the choir of the late 1200s. It later became a parish church. The nave was begun in 1406, and lost its roof shortly after the Protestant Reformation of 1560. There are paintings dating from the 1500s on the vault of the bell tower’s ground floor, which once served as an ecclesiastical court. There are also fine memorials in the choir (not in our care), including the effigy of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan – notorious as “The Wolf of Badenoch”.
Historic Environment Scotland

Historian Sir Richard Burton describing Dunkeld as the site for a battle wrote: ‘it is difficult to imagine a position by the nature of the ground more dangerous for a Lowland force, for it is deep sunk among hills commanding it and cutting off a retreat while a rapid river forms the diameter of the semi-circle. But the next day – despite the fact that it was a. Sunday – the garrison set about fortifying Dunkeld Cathedral tower and the Duke of Atholl’s new mansion Dunkeld House.
Dunkeld Cathedral: Battle of Dunkeld

The much-restored cathedral choir, still in use as the parish church, is unaisled and dates to the 13th and 14th centuries. The aisled nave was erected from the early 15th century. The western tower, south porch and chapter house (which houses the cathedral museum) were added between 1450 and 1475. The cathedral was stripped of its rich furnishings after the mid-16th century Reformation and its iconoclasm. The nave and porch have been roofless since the early 17th century. They and the tower in the 21st century are in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. Below the ceiling vault of the tower ground floor are remnants of pre-Reformation murals showing biblical scenes (c. 1490), one of very few such survivals in Scotland. The clearest to survive is a representation of the Judgement of Solomon. This reflects the medieval use of this space as the Bishop’s Court.
Wikipedia.


Dunkeld Cathedral from the North-West
1900s
Publisher: G.W. Wilson & Co. (1852-1908)

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