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Primary ReferenceNO56SE0012
NRHE Card No.NO56SE12
NRHE Numlink 35055
HES SM No. 90041
HES LB No. 22440
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Former Cathedral still in use as a Church, on a site which was originally monastic The cathedral of the See of Brechin, created circa 1150 AD, altered to serve as a post Reformation parish church, with a circa 1000 AD Irish-type round tower attached to the south west corner of the nave. The original cruciform cathedral dedicated to the Holy Trinity appears to have remained intact until 1806 when major structural alterations were carried out. The north and south transepts were removed, new and wider aisles were built on each side of the nave and the outer walls were carried to such a height that the whole nave could be covered with a roof of one span. Some 13th century work survives in the west doorway, two of the nave piers and in portions of the ruined side walls. A 15th century square tower flanks the doorway on the north. The choir represents a shortened restoration of the 13th century building. The round tower, originally free standing is 26 m (86'9 inches) high with projecting base, and tapers upwards from a base about 5 m in diameter to the conical roof added in the 14th century. It is built of large sandstone blocks with internal string courses which indicate division into seven storeys, with a large window facing each of the cardinal points at the top. The arched doorway is raised above ground level and displays typically Irish features such as inclined jambs. Its chief original feature is the carved doorway, 2.1m above ground level, which has a crucifixion at its apex, unidentified saints on the jambs and crouching beasts flanking the threshold. The tower is now embodied in the south west corner of the cathedral nave, and a doorway (now blocked) has been cut through its wall to give access from the cathedral. The graveyard probably dates from 1806. It has walls and enclosure rails with pyramid-capped gatepiers. The churchyard was levelled and the stones reset in the 19th century. A number of Pictish stones are said to have been moved from Aldbar Chapel (NO55NE0008) to here. A total of 393 masons' marks, of 55 different masons, have been recorded on the cathedral by the Masons' Marks Project.
Last Update19/06/2024
Updated Bycpalmer
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National Grid Reference: NO 5962 6009

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