Brechin Cathedral - Angus, Scotland.
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member creg-ny-baa
N 56° 43.841 W 002° 39.712
30V E 520688 N 6287458
Quick Description: Medieval cathedral dating back to King David I in the mid 12th century and much altered since, situated in the small Angus town of Brechin in eastern Scotland.
Location: Northern Scotland, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/7/2022 5:32:41 AM
Waymark Code: WM15HAJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:

The small town of Brechin lies in the northern part of the county of Angus in eastern Scotland, lying on the northern bank of the River South Esk. A medieval cathedral and Celtic monastery were thought to have been on this site with a religious order call the Culdees operating in 972AD. A building known as the Church of the Holy Trinity was built on the site and made a cathedral by King David I, after which alterations in a Norman style were made alongside an Irish style round tower which was part of the original building on its south-western side.

The building has been much altered since then but parts of the original building, including the tower still remain. Norman work can still be found in the foundations of the west gable, with the west door dating back to the 13th century. The square tower on the north-western side dates to the 14th century and the great west window to the 15th century. Since the reformation in 1560, the choir had no longer any function and fell into ruin, but the nave remained, having always been part of the original parish church. The clock on the square tower was gifted by Bishop David Strachan in 1665 and was known as the "Great Orlodg".

In 1900-02 the church was largely rebuilt into the form of today with the remnants of the choir rebuilt, and the south transept rebuilt largely the same as its 14th century predecessor. To give the building more of a look of a cathedral, a north transept was built, during which Queen Victoria died, hence the it became known as the Queen's Aisle.

Despite the domination of being Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) the building remained a cathedral in name, however in 2020, in its 800th year, a dwindling congregation and lack of funds meant that the cathedral would be closed and sold.

The cathedral lies on the south-western edge of the town well off the main route and is not easily viewed except from a distance, being hemmed in by buildings to the north. The wooded gorge of Skinner's Burn, a tributary of the South Esk cuts off the southern side of the site, so the only approach is from the narrow streets to the north where the entrance lies. The building is dominated by its main features on the western side, the Round Tower and the square tower. The Round Tower is 106 feet tall and 16 feet in diameter. The octagonal cap was added later. The doorway is high above the base, the tower being used in the past as a place for the safe keeping of artefacts. The clock beneath the squat spire of the square tower had its mechanism updated in 1974, a curfew bell still rings at 8pm on weekdays, the bell summoned monks to Compline, the final prayers of the day. A graveyard almost surrounds the cathedral on all but the northern side, it being most extensive on the east side next to the chancel.


Brechin Cathedral
6 Church Street
Angus DD9 6EU

Religious affiliation: Church of Scotland (Presbyterian)

Date founded or constructed: 1220

Web site: [Web Link]

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