Ruins, Elgin Cathedral, Scotland

The ruins of Elgin Cathedral, an abandoned and hauntingly beautiful place.

Location: Moray, Scotland


Elgin Cathedral is an historic ruin in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland. It was established in 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II outside the burgh of Elgin and replaced the cathedral at Spynie, 3 kilometres to the north. 18 canons staffed the new and larger cathedral, a number that was increased to 23 by 1242.

Ruins of Elgin Cathedral

After a damaging fire in 1270, a rebuilding programme greatly enlarged the building. The Wars of Scottish Independence did not affect the cathedral. However, it again suffered extensive fire damage following an attack in 1390 by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, also known as the Wolf of Badenoch along with a subsequent attack by Alexander of Lochaber on 3 July 1402. Consequently, Lochaber and his captains were excommunicated, prompting Lochaber’s return in September to give reparation and gain absolution. Furthermore, the number of clerics required to staff the cathedral continued to grow, as did the number of craftsmen needed to maintain the buildings and surrounds.


By the time of the Scottish Reformation in 1560, Elgin Cathedral was abandoned and its services transferred to Elgin’s parish church of St Giles. Due to the 1567 removal of the lead that waterproofed the roof, the cathedral steadily fell into decay. Finally, by the 19th century, the building was in a substantially ruinous condition. Source: Wikipedia,