Brechin Cathedral dates from the 13th century. Immediately adjoining the cathedral to the southwest stands the Round Tower, built about 1000 A.D. 

The western gable with its flamboyant window, Gothicdoor and massive square tower, parts of the (much truncated) choir, and the nave pillars and clerestory are all that is left of the original edifice. The modern stained glass in the chancel is reckoned amongst the finest in Scotland.

The quality of the masonry is superior to all but a very few of the Irish examples. The narrow single doorway, raised some feet above ground level in a manner common in these buildings, is also exceptionally fine. The door-surround is enriched with two bands of pellets, and the monolithic arch has a well-preserved representation of the Crucifixion. The slightly splayed sides of the doorway (also monolithic) have relief sculptures of ecclesiastics, one of them holding a crosier, the other a Tau-shaped staff.

Two monuments preserved within the cathedral, the so-called 'Brechin hogback', and a cross-slab, 'St. Mary's Stone' are further rare and important examples of Scottish 11th century stone sculpture. The hogback combines Celtic and Scandinavian motifs, and is the most complex known stone sculpture in the Ringerike style in Scotland. The inscribed St Mary's Stone has a circular border round the central motif of the Virgin and Child which echoes that on the Round Tower.

As a congregation of the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, the church is not technically a cathedral, in spite of its name.

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

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ian Hutchison (13 months ago)
Unfortunately due to vandalism the gates are locked at this time so no entry to the ground or cathedral.
Sandra Mercer (21 months ago)
Lovely service today.. Great to see churches together in Brechin coming together to praise the Lord
Helen Cameron (2 years ago)
Enjoyed looking round. Historic info but little about current use. Stained glass beautiful.
C S (2 years ago)
Beautiful Cathedral and worth visiting for the history of the building and tower. Very quiet when we visited but the door was unlocked allowing us to look around inside. Remember to walk around the back of the building to see the round tower.
Jean Clark (2 years ago)
Well worth a visit when in the city. Whether in or out it compares well with other places of worship. The round tower, one of two only in Scotland is impressive.
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