Brechin Cathedral

Brechin, United Kingdom

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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Details

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

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Peter Chambers (3 years ago)
Closed. Like most of Brechin.
Ian Hutchison (4 years ago)
Unfortunately due to vandalism the gates are locked at this time so no entry to the ground or cathedral.
Sandra Mercer (4 years ago)
Lovely service today.. Great to see churches together in Brechin coming together to praise the Lord
Martin Shaw (5 years ago)
Really enjoyed the look around and it was post-service, so everything was very quiet. I appreicate how colourful the stain glass windows are and the craftmanship that goes into creating them. the tower outside was quite interesting but a shame you can no longer go up it
Helen Cameron (5 years ago)
Enjoyed looking round. Historic info but little about current use. Stained glass beautiful.
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