Top Historic Sights in Dundee, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Dundee

McManus Gallery

The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is a Gothic Revival-style building, located in the centre of Dundee, Scotland. The building was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott, who was an expert for the restoration of mediaeval churches and advocate of the Gothic architectural style. He intended to design a large tower like in his previous work at St. Nikolai, Hamburg. The foundations were situated in a small wetlan ...
Founded: 1867 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

St Mary's Tower & Church

The oldest building in the Dundee is St Mary"s Tower, which dates from the late 15th century. This forms part of the City Churches, which consist of St Clement"s Church, dating to 1787–88 and built by Samuel Bell, Old St Paul"s and St David"s Church, built in 1841–42 by William Burn, and St Mary"s Church, rebuilt in 1843–44, also by Burn, following a fire.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

The Howff

The Howff is a burial ground in Dundee. Established in 1564, it has one of the most important collections of tombstones in Scotland. The land of the burial ground was part of the Franciscan (Greyfriars) Monastery until the Scottish Reformation. In 1564 Mary, Queen of Scots granted the land to the burgh of Dundee, for use as a burial ground. It was used for meetings by the Dundee Incorporated Trades. Old parish records for ...
Founded: 1564 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Broughty Castle

Broughty Castle was erected in 1490 by the 2nd Lord Gray, on a charter from James IV, in response to increased English naval activity. It was taken without a shot fired by the English in 1547, and reclaimed by the Scots two and a half years later. The castle fell back into English hands in 1651. In 1860 the threat of French invasion prompted Broughty’s conversion from a ruin to a modern artillery defence. The castle wa ...
Founded: 1490 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Dudhope Castle

Dudhope Castle was originally built in the late 13th century by the Scrymgeour family. This was replaced around 1460. James V visited in April 1540. The castle was further extended in 1580 for James Scrimgeour and Magdalen Livingstone to its current L-plan structure with additional circular 'angle' towers, although these were demolished in the 18th century. During the centuries Dudhope Castle was held by four ...
Founded: 1460 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Claypotts Castle

Claypotts Castle is one of the best-preserved examples of a 16th-century Z-plan tower house in Scotland. Now surrounded by modern housing, the castle is maintained as an Ancient Monument by Historic Environment Scotland. The castle was originally built by John Strachan around 1569–1588 according to dates inscribed on stones that make up parts of the castle, which make its construction longer than usual for such a small ...
Founded: 1569-1588 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Carlungie Earth House

At about 40m long, Carlungie Earth House is one of the largest and most complex examples of its kind in Scotland. It was accidentally discovered during ploughing in 1949. Subsequent excavations during the following two years also revealed about eight associated stone dwellings at ground level. Earth houses, or souterrains as they are also known, were not dwellings, but stone-lined underground passages which typically dat ...
Founded: 50 BCE - 450 AD | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Mains Castle

Mains Castle castle consists of several buildings surrounding a courtyard, although several of the original western buildings no longer exist. The northern and eastern buildings are where the family would have lived, with the servants occupying the southern quarters. The castle also has a large, six-floor, square tower house with dressed cornerstones, which is typical of 16th-century construction. The castle is located i ...
Founded: 1562 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Affleck Castle

Affleck Castle, also known as Auchenleck Castle, was built on the lands of the Auchenlecks in the 15th century. In the early 18th century it belonged to a family of Reids, who forfeited the castle in 1746 because of their activities as Jacobites. It has not been occupied since 1760, when a new mansion was built. Affleck Castle is a well-preserved free-standing tower of four storeys and a parapeted garret. It is 18 m tal ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Ballumbie Castle

Ballumbie Castle was built by the Lovell family in the 14th-16th centuries. The castle comprised a rectangular enclosure, approximately 21 metres on a side, with round corner towers, overlooking the Fithie Burn. In the early 17th century it passed to the Maule family, who became Earls of Panmure in 1646. The castle was reported as being ruined by 1682, although the remaining east and south walls were later incorporated i ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Balluderon Stone

The Balluderon Stone, otherwise known as Martin"s Stone is a class II Pictish cross slab in situ at Balluderon, Angus. A slab of Old Red Sandstone, the cross slab is situated in a field and protected by iron fencing. The slab, of which only the lower half remains, bears the remnants of a Celtic cross, two mounted riders, a serpent and z-rod symbol and a Pictish beast design. Local tradition associates the slab with ...
Founded: 500-800 AD | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Auchterhouse Castle

Auchterhouse Castle is a 13th century castle located northwest of Dundee, Angus. The original castle was enclosed with walls, towers, and contained a keep. The castle may have been in ownership of the Ramsay family, who were hereditary Sheriffs of Angus. Sir William Wallace is alleged to have stayed at the castle and one its towers was named in his honour. King Edward I of England spent the night of the 20 July 1303 at th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.