Elgin Cathedral; South Aisle
Photographer: Wilson, George Washington (1823-1893)
Medium: Photographic print
“The cathedral was originally built in the early part of the thirteenth century, a period at which arose so many of the ecclesiastical fabrics of both England and Scotland. But this first church was destroyed by fire in 1390, by one of the most rude and fierce of Scotland’s old aristocracy. Alexander Stuart, the son of Robert II., king of Scotland, a man properly called the Wolf of Badenoch, having a feud with Bishop Barr, burnt down the cathedral, the parish church, a religious house called Maison Dieu, eighteen houses of the canons, and the greatest part of the city…The city did not recover its previous condition for a long time; and it was many years before the new cathedral was completed. The bishops devoted a third of their incomes to this object, and at length it stood a church of rare beauty and splendour. Its central tower was one hundred and ninety-eight feet high, and the present remains justify the character which it attained of being the finest specimen of ecclesiastical architecture in the kingdom, Melrose not excepted. It exceeds that admired fabric in extent, in altitude, in general magnificence, and in richness of decoration. The remains of it at the present day are beheld by strangers with equal wonder and pleasure.”
Excerpt from “Elgin Cathedral”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.