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Spiritual heart of MorayElgin Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, and the inspiration for many an artist. The imposing yellow sandstone ruin is also one of the most important architectural legacies from that bygone age, whose intriguingly complex building history will reward the patient visitor.
An awe-inspiring buildingElgin cathedral is affectionately known as the ‘Lantern of the North’. From the time of its construction in the first half of the 13th century, through to the time of its demise at the Reformation in 1560, this monumentally impressive building dominated the flat and fertile Laich of Moray. The proud boast by one of its former bishops, Alexander Bur (1362–97), that his cathedral was ‘the ornament of the realm, the glory of the kingdom’ is certainly borne out by a visit to this beautiful site.
Stone bishops and knightsStone effigies of former bishops and earls grace the choir. Undoubtedly the finest is that of Bishop John Winchester (1435–60), shown in his mass vestments. Close beside him in the south choir chapel is the stone effigy of Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly, who died at Huntly Castle in 1470. In the nave are two giant figures of a bishop and a knight that once graced the bell tower over the central crossing.
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