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Celebrating Elgin Cathedral’s 800th anniversary

By Alistair Whitfield

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The 800th anniversary of Elgin Cathedral will be marked with a two-day living history event later this month.

Elgin Cathedral, the Lantern of the North.
Elgin Cathedral, the Lantern of the North.

Established in the year 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II outside the boundaries of Elgin, The Lantern of the North was built close to the River Lossie.

It would be prove to be one of the most important buildings in this part of Scotland for nearly 300 years, although there were challenges along the way.

On such incident occurred in 1390 when the Wolf of Badenoch, the brother of King Robert III, decided to burn it down after the clerics granted his wife a divorce.

The two-day historical-themed event will take place over Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.

The weekend will offer the public the chance to talk with 14th Century stonemasons and blacksmiths who helped repair the cathedral after the Wolf’s attack.

There’ll also be a chance to speak to the monks about the brewing techniques they used as well as their methods of calligraphy for reproducing manuscripts by hand.

Special 3D scans of some of the iconic stone carvings found at Elgin Cathedral are now available to view online at sketchfab.com

Elgin Cathedral is 800 years old. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Elgin Cathedral is 800 years old. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said: “We’ll be celebrating the history of one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings.

“Visitors will discover its stories and find out how this magnificent ecclesiastical site grew over the centuries.”

A second event is also being planned for the evening of Wednesday, August 28, within the grounds of the cathedral.

Literature will meet architecture, when one of Sherlock Holmes’ most renowned cases is brought to life with the Illyria theatre company’s adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The Wolf of Badenoch statue in Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
The Wolf of Badenoch statue in Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

The Elgin 800 event will take place on Saturday July 20 and Sunday July 21 from noon–4pm each day. Tickets can be booked at historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/whats-on.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is taking place on Wednesday, August 28 at 7.30pm (doors 6.45pm). Tickets start at £12 and must be pre-booked on historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/whats-on.

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