Dornoch Cathedral was built in the 13th century, in the reign of King Alexander II (1214–49) and the episcopate of Gilbert de Moravia (later Saint Gilbert of Dornoch) as the cathedral church of the diocese of Caithness.

In 1570 the Cathedral was burnt down during local feuding. Full restoration was not carried out until the early 19th century, by the Countess of Sutherland. Among the 'improvements' carried out, the ruined but still largely intact aisled medieval nave was demolished and a new narrow nave without pillars built on its site. The interior was reordered in the 1920s by Rev. Charles Donald Bentinck, with the removal of Victorian plasterwork to reveal the stonework (although the medieval church would have been plastered throughout). The site of the medieval high altar was raised and converted into a burial area for the Sutherland family, who introduced large marble memorials alien to the original appearance of the building.

The Cathedral's churchyard is adjoined by Dornoch Castle, the somewhat reconstructed remains of the medieval palace of the Bishops of Caithness.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ang Mac (7 months ago)
Beautiful, peaceful cathedral with loads of stained glass windows. Breathtakingly beautiful and free!
esteban lanza gomez (8 months ago)
Such a beautiful cathedral in a beautiful village
Thomas Finlay (8 months ago)
Beautiful building ??
Tork Mackenzie (2 years ago)
The cathedral was still closed to the general public due to the pandemic as of mid-October so we only took shots of the outside during the day and at night , small but impressive it dominates the central area of Dornoch and at night when lit up it’s a nice place to take a walk round.
Stuart Keeble (2 years ago)
Nice from the outside but sadly closed when we visited (Friday in peak season) with no explanation of opening restrictions.
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