Dunkeld Cathedral lies on the north bank of the River Tay just to the west of the centre of Dunkeld. It is approached on foot through the narrow streets of Dunkeld which lead you to the Cathedral's ornate gates. With the river on one side and open land leading to hills on the other, the setting is idyllic.
There has been a Christian settlement on the site since around 580AD and 'holy ground' since about 730 when Celtic missionaries, known as Culdees, built the first monastery here. The major development came in 848, when Kenneth MacAlpin, by then King of the Scots and of the Picts, rebuilt the original wattle buildings in red stone (see our Historical Timeline). Two years later Dunkeld became the religious centre of Scotland when the relics of St Columba were moved here from Iona in the face of increasing Viking attacks on the west coast.
The Cathedral you see today, which is designated as a Grade A listed building, shows both Gothic and Norman influence having being built in stages over a period of nearly 250 years between 1260 and 1501. The restored choir is the oldest part or the original church, having been completed in 1350. It contains some of the original red stone in its east gable.
Address: Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunkeld, Perthshire, PH8 0UW