Elgin - 'The Ruines of the Cathedrall of Elgin'

Elgin Cathedral had been falling into ruins for around 100 years by the time Slezer made his drawing of it. However, it was still known as 'the Lantern of the North'.

Slezer shows us how the remnants of what was once the second largest cathedral church in Scotland looked before the central tower collapsed in 1711, taking much of the nave with it. The chapterhouse, on the left in this view, has since been re-roofed.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Elgin


To the Right Honourable the Earl of Elgin and Ailsbury, Viscount Bruce of Ampthill, Baron Bruce of Kinlos, Wharton and Skelton, &c.


A Town in the Shire of Murray, situated on a pleasant Plain. It is the Bishop's Seat, and the head Town of that Sheriffdom. Upon a sandy Hill to the East of the Town are to be seen the Ruins of an old Castle. It had a Cathedral Church of admirable Structure, as appears by the Walls and Ruins which are yet extant.

It gives the Title of Earl of Elgin to the Family of Ailsbury, in England.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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