This evening, my theme is Dunblane Cathedral which is located in central Scotland, not far from Stirling.

The name Dunblane is, perhaps, forever embedded in the British/Scottish consciousness as a consequence of school massacre which occurred here in March 1996 when 16 children plus 1 adult were killed in a murder-suicide, an event which triggered a further tightening of Britain’s gun ownership laws.

The images below were taken during a recent re-visit to the town/Cathedral following a gap of some 5 years. This is not a town I normally incorporate in my tours of Scotland simply because the attractions at nearby Stirling (Castle, Wallace Monument and Bannockburn Battlefield) usually have priority. However, Dunblane is a pleasant enough old town with some interesting quaint and historic architecture together with the River Allan running nearby. I noticed that parking is tight, mainly because of commuters traffic using the local rail station.

On the morning of my visit, there were optimum conditions for photography in the form of blue skies, sunshine and hints of an early frost. Unfortunately. my video camera malfunctioned so I was left with just still images, as shown below.

The term cathedral is, technically, a misnomer in the context of Dunblane because the building is used for worship by the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland which does not ordain bishops. However, the term cathedral is still used by the church authorities in recognition of the building’s long Christian heritage dating to medieval times and Roman Catholic control.

Dunblane is one of the few medieval cathedral churches in Scotland not in a ruined state and still used for worship.

View from the south

Dunblane Cathedral

The nave dates from the mid 13th century during the bishopric of Clement. Lacking a wealthy patron, Dunblane was built with modest aspirations in terms of grandeur.

Inside Dunblane Cathedral

This Pictish stone is one of my key, personal interests. It probably dates from the 9th century and features designs in common with similar carved stones in Pictland. This particular stone was found under the floor of the chapter house in 1873.

Pictish Cross, Dunblane Cathedral

The Dunblane site can trace its Christian pedigree back to St. Blane in around AD 600. A stone church was built in the 12th century of which only traces remain. Much of the present building dates from the 13th century. The tower evident in the image below may have originally been detached from the church building and used for defence as well as for a belfry.

Dunblane Cathedral-Entrance

Overall, this is a quality and historic site deserving of a visit. I could probably benefit from a second visit with the luxury of more time.

Elsewhere today I have:

  • Designed an outline itinerary for an upcoming small group tour of the Highlands, Loch Ness and Skye.
  • Firmed up a one day tour in and around Edinburgh for later in the month.
  • Undertaken more work on a (very large) group study tour of Edinburgh and Glasgow for next year.
  • Posted information on Finlay Ancestry to my Glasgow Ancestry blog: 

Weather here in Glasgow this evening is appalling: a combination of strong winds and driving rain.

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