Dunblane, Kirk Street, Dunblane Cathedral
Cathedral (12th Century), Chapel (Period Unassigned), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)
Site Name Dunblane, Kirk Street, Dunblane Cathedral
Alternative Name(s) Dunblane Parish Church; Cathedral Church Of Saint Blaan And Saint Laurence: War Memorial Window And Plaques
Canmore ID 24672
Site Number NN70SE 15
NGR NN 78153 01381
Datum OSGB36 - NGR
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- Council Stirling
- Parish Dunblane And Lecropt
- Former Region Central
- Former District Stirling
- Former County Perthshire
NN70SE 15.00 78153 01381
Dunblane Cathedral [NAT]
OS (GIS) MasterMap, April 2010.
NN70SE 15.01 NN 7817 0139 Monastery (possible); Sculptured Stones; Cross
NN70SE 15.02 NN 7818 0141 Watching Brief; Human Remains
NN70SE 15.03 NN 78153 01349 Cathedral Hall
NN70SE 15.04 NN 7814 0134 Cist
NN70SE 15.05 NN 7811 0138 Cist
NN70SE 15.06 NN 78209 01341 Museum
NN70SE 15.07 NN 781 013 Cist
NN70SE 15.08 NN 781 013 Watching Brief; Cist (possible); human remains
Crown property in [the] charge of the minister.
(Undated) information in NMRS.
Dunblane Cathedral: The Building dates mainly from the 13th century, but embodies a square tower, once free-standing, the lower part of which is Norman work. The nave was unroofed after the Reformation, but the whole building was restored in 1892-5.
V G Childe and W D Simpson 1961.
The 12th century tower is a relic of the structure erected after the re-establishment of the bishopric in 1150. Nothing is known of the Cathedral between this time and the time of Bishop Clement (1233-58) who is believed to have partly, if not entirely, rebuilt the cathedral.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896.
The whole of Dunblane Cathedral is now in use as a place of worship.
Visited by OS (RDL) 8 January 1964.
NN 781 013 A watching brief was conducted in the nave at Dunblane Cathedral (NMRS NN70SE 15) in December 1999. Only 19th-century contexts were disturbed, although fragments of human bone and glazed floor tile were recovered.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
P Sharman 2000
NN 7815 0139 A watching brief was undertaken in April 2001 during minor excavations at Dunblane Cathedral (NMRS NN70SE 15.00). This structure, while having a medieval core, has seen a lot of restoration work over the centuries, particularly during the latter part of the 19th century. The aim of the current project was to excavate a small trench immediately outside (to the N of) an undercroft, with the aim of locating and repairing a pipe.
The trench reached a maximum depth of 70cm, and was dug down through reasonably loose deposits - stone, brick, blaze and ceramic drainpipe fragments, presumably representing fill of service trenches. Two white china sherds were noted, but not retained. This excavation revealed nothing but the high density of service trenches around the cathedral.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
D Stewart and G Ewart 2001
NN 782 014 A GPR survey of Dunblane Cathedral was carried out in February and March 2005 prior to a proposed rewiring of the cathedral.
A number of anomalies of possible archaeological origin were identified, mainly within the N and S aisles, ranging in depth from 0.35-1.4m. A large area of strong, complex anomalies situated within the N aisle at an average depth of 1.25m may be of archaeological interest, possibly representing areas of debris or previous foundations.
Report lodged with NMRS.
H Heard 2005.
National Library of Scotland
Builders Journal & Arch Review, Jan 14th 1903 - elevation of old choir stalls
Nattes Drawings Vol.3 No 48/54 - 6 drawings
Drawings collection. James Cromer Watt, 1882 - perspective sketch of restored window
elevation & sketch of frame moulding
Scottish Records Office
Letters concerning the restoration of the Cathedral. The Rev. Alexander Ritchie, Minister of Dunblane comments upon the success of the restoration. He gives particulars of the scheme of heraldic adornments for the bosses along the interior ridge of the nave rood and on the hammer beam. He explains that a beginning has been made with stained glass windows - by the insertion fo the Great East Window and 6 chancel windows facing South. The Minister's letter suggests that he hopes Barclay-Allardice may be interested in furthering the work.
Dunblane. Repair of the Church of Dunblane.
Assessment of the heritors' contributions towards repairing the public click in the steeple and two new dial plates. Letter James Russell to David Graeme of Orchill.
William Stirling - submitted plan for repairing church and converting part into a school, 1806 (not carried out)
James Gillespie Graham, 1817-19 (part restoration)
William Nixon - iron gates (Office of Works), 1845
Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, 1889-93
Sir Robert Lorimer 1912-14 (restoration) also fittings etc. 1928-30
Reginald Fairlie 1937 (adds. panelling, fitments and furniture of chapel)
(Undated) information in NMRS.
Publication Account (1985)
Dunblane is an attractive small town regaining a quiet charm now that the main Stirling-Perth road has been diverted east of the town centre. On higher ground flanking the River Allen and at the head of the main street, the cathedral stands surrounded by a close-like grouping of buildings, some of which date back to the 17th century. From the 13th century the cathedral was the seat of the bishop of the diocese of Dunblane, which stretched from the Forth to Strathearn. Before that date the episcopal centre was probably at Muthill but as a palt of the reorganisation of the church in the early 13th century, Bishop Clement moved to Dunblane and oversaw the construction of a new cathedral. After the Reformation, the cathedral fell into decay; only the choir retained its roof and, like Paisley Abbey (no. 57), it was converted for use as the parish church. During the late 19th century the cathedral was restored by the renowned Scottish architect Sir R Rowand Anderson.
There has probably been a church at Dunblane since Early Christian times but all that survives from this early period are fragments of sculpture and a complete cross-slab of 9th or 10th century date which are now situated in the north-west of the choir. The construction of the cathedral by Bishop Clement meant the demolition of the 12th century church, but its freestanding square bell-tower was incorporated, not quite at right-angles, into the south wall of the cathedral.
During the later middle ages the tower was progressively heightened and the two major building periods can readily be distinguished by changes in the colour of the stonework. Although work on the cathedral may have begun soon after the installation of Bishop Clement in 1233, the building was probably not completed until late in the century and modifications continued to be made up to the Reformation. Preserved within the sanctuary and at the west end of the nave there are rare examples of medieval stalls; the fine modem choir-stalls were designed by the Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer.
The cathedral is surrounded by a burial-ground which contains an interesting collection of 18th and 19th century gravestones, and, immediately outside the burial-ground, the Friends ofDunblane Cathedral have restored a late medieval house for use as a museum.
Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Clyde Estuary and Central Region’, (1985).
Project (February 2014 - July 2014)
A data upgrade project to record war memorials.