I recently revisited the beautiful Elgin Cathedral, also known as the Lantern of the North, taking in all it has to offer; the ruins, its two towers, the Chapter House and the beautiful views that surround the historic site.
The Cathedral has been part of Elgin’s history for decades, with its creation spanning back to 1224, when it was established as the principal church of the bishops of Moray.
With one trip to Elgin’s majestic ruin you can learn all about its rich and exciting history. For example, it was left badly fire damaged from 1390 following an attack by King Robert III’s brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, the infamous “Wolf of Badenoch”. Despite this attack, the two towers of the West Front and the Chapter House remain intact to this day, and are open to the public.
If the history of the site does not appeal to you, then the views will certainly make up for it. You are rewarded for your climbing efforts with magnificent views over Elgin, with the top of the tower having an open viewing platform, as well as information boards to help you learn more about all of the fantastic landmarks that you can see.
When you tire of looking over the town’s glorious sites, you can head into the chapter house, which is considered to be one of the country’s “finest octagonal structures” – and it is easy to see why. If you look close enough at the ceiling, you might just be able to make out faint traces of gold paint.
The Cathedral also offers guided tours; run daily from July through to August at: 10am, 2pm and 3:30pm, the latter tour being for the Bishop’s house only, and must be booked in advance. If you’d like more information on the tours you can visit: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/elgin-cathedral/ or call 01343 547 171.
I would also recommend the fact-finding quiz, created by historic environment Scotland, which also comes in Doric, to make your adventure more fun. You could also try their sculptures and symbols spotter and graveyard count quizzes.
The Cathedral is only a 15 minute drive from your cottage at Carden. If you look carefully, as you drive into Elgin from Carden Cottages, opposite Dr. Gray’s hospital you will be able to see blocks that were taken from the Cathedral and used in the building of the garden walls and houses there. So you don’t have to wait until you get there to start taking in the culture.
When you tire from soaking up all the history, there are plenty surrounding coffee shops with great hot drinks and tasty cake to help aid your recovery, like Johnston’s of Elgin, which is about a 10 minute walk away.