CathedralEuropeScotland

Elgin Cathedral

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HISTORY

It is a historic ruin situated in Elgin, northeast Scotland. The cathedral dedicated to the Holy Trinity was established in 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II, near the Lossie River. This cathedral replaced that of Spynie, two miles to the north, which was served by a small chapter of eight clerics. The new and larger cathedral consisted of 18 canons in 1226, and then increased to 23 in 1242. After a fire that damaged the cathedral in 1270, the rebuilding program expanded the building.

WHY THIS PLACE

It was unaffected by the Scottish Wars of Independence, but would again suffer major damage by fire in 1390, following an attack by Robert III's brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, also known as the Wolf of Badenoch. In 1402, the cathedral precincts again suffered a fire set by the followers of the Lords of the Isles. The number of clerics needed to maintain the cathedral continued to grow, as did the number of artisans needed to maintain the buildings and surroundings. The number of canons increased to 25 by the time of the Scottish Reformation in 1560, when the cathedral was abandoned and its services transferred to Elgin's parish church, St Giles.

CURIOSITIES

After the removal of the lead that made the roof waterproof, in 1567, the cathedral was abandoned, falling into decay. Its deterioration reached its height in the 19th century, by which time the building was in a significantly dilapidated condition.

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