This evening, I am focusing on a stunning example of ecclesiastical architecture, namley Dornoch Cathedral in Sutherland, Scottish Highlands. Technically the building is no longer a Cathedral because, being part of the Presbyterian Church, there is no bishop. However, pre-Reformation (until 1560), the building was used for Roman Catholic worship and the name continues.
The Cathedral has a long history dating back to its inception in 1222 by Bishop Gilbert de Moravia. it was consecrated in 1239. Bishop Gilbert was the last Scot to be canonised before the Reformation. A summary of the Cathedral’s history post Reformation is as follows:
- Burnt 1570 during a Clan battle.
- Quire and transepts restored 1616 by Sir Robert Gordon.
- Renovated 1835-7 under patronage of Elizabeth, Duchess of Sutherland.
- Further renovation 1924 when original 13th century stonework was revealed.
- Organ installed 1893 and subsequently renovated 1908 at expense of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Rebuilt 1979 at expense of Andrew Carnegie’s daughter, Margaret.
The Cathedral has 28 stained glass windows with the most recent dating from 1989 when it was installed on the 750th anniversary of the original consecration.