The Bishops Palace by Elgin Cathedral, Moray, Grampian Region. Scotland. SCO 8220

- Image ID: CP8N4D
The Bishops Palace by Elgin Cathedral, Moray, Grampian Region. Scotland. SCO 8220
David Gowans / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: CP8N4D
Elgin Cathedral sometimes referred to as ‘The Lantern of the North’ is an historic ruin in Elgin in Moray, north-east Scotland. It was established in 1224 but only reached completion near the end of the 13th century. The original chapter house - a fairly unique eight-sided structure - is still intact but most of the cathedral is now in ruins. In amongst the ruins there are remnants of windows, tombs and vaulted ceilings. Elgin Cathedral was a spectacular building that was used only for a very short time. In 1390 it was damaged by Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan, known as the Wolf of Badenoch, when he attempted to burn the cathedral. It was later repaired in the 15th and 16th centuries but fell into disuse and ruin again later. The Wolf ruled the lands of Badenoch in a cruel way, burning the homes of those who crossed or displeased them. Taking labour and goods way beyond any reason, but went too far when he seized the lands of Alexander Barr, Bishop of Moray. For this he was excommunicated. His wife, Countess of Ross, was deserted by him. His wife appealed to the Bishop of Moray, who unfortunately for him, gave judgement in her favour. The Wolf was outraged. All out for revenge, he came down from his stronghold, the castle of Lochindorb and ransacked and burned Forres and Elgin. Elgin of course, being the ecclesiastical centre of the Bishopric of Moray. Setting off fires, mainly in the College, the Canon's houses and the Hospital of the Maison Dieu, he terrified the people of Elgin, forcing them to flee with their families into the countryside. In 1390 he burned Elgin Cathedral, destroying many of its records including family, legal and monastic - irreplaceable. A terrible loss. The Wolf was called upon by his father to do penance for this heinous crime. This he did under the watchful eye of his father the King, nobles and many dignitaries of the church. The King, believing that his son had learnt his lesson, finally pardoned him.
Location: Bishop's Palace, Elgin Cathedral, Moray Grampian Region. Scotland. UK.