List of former cathedrals in Great Britain
This is a list of former or proposed cathedrals in Great Britain.
A former cathedral is a building, or the site of a building, which was once the seat of a bishop but is not so any longer. This may be because that bishopric has ceased to exist, or has been relocated. In some cases a new cathedral has been built near an older one, with the building of the older one then used for other ecclesiastical purposes (e.g. as a parish church), or used for secular purposes, or demolished. Such a building or site counts as a former cathedral. Where a cathedral building is modified or rebuilt, possibly several times, on substantially the same site in a series of developments over time, the earlier versions are not counted here as former cathedrals.
A proposed cathedral is a building, or the site of a building, which was once proposed (usually by a church or civil authority) as a future cathedral, but for some reason that particular proposal failed. In some cases, a later proposal succeeded and the building then became the seat of a bishop. Nonetheless, the building concerned will be listed as a proposed cathedral on account of the failure of the earlier proposal.
- 1 England
- 2 Isle of Man
- 3 Scotland
- 4 Wales
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
References are to the English church's current use or its use prior to deconsecration.
Cathedrals founded before 1066
becoming Church of England at the Reformation
|Bodmin, Cornwall||Parish Church of St Petroc||c. 823 – c. 870||The cathedral of the 9th-century Bishop Kenstec of Cornwall (c. 823 – c. 870) was at the monastery at Dinuurin (or Dinnurrin), a placename derived from an early hermit Uuron (or St Guron). The place was later called Bodmin. The cult of Saint Petroc spread from Padstow, especially after the Viking raid there in 981 led the monks to move to Bodmin, with Petroc's relics. The parish church, dating from c. 1470, is believed to occupy the site of Kenstec's monastic cathedral, and the spring of St Guron's Well rises by the church. The church tower base is described as Anglo-Saxon, and the church has the 12th-century ivory reliquary once used for Petroc's relics.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex||100px||Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall||654–664||After a mission to the East Saxons from London by St Mellitus failed in c. 616, St Cedd was sent from Northumbria in 653 (consecrated a bishop in 654). His chosen site was the former Roman fort of Orthona, near Bradwell-on-Sea. A stone cathedral was built, of Roman materials, but Cedd died in 664. A third mission in c. 675, by St Erkenwald from London (which became the see for Essex) succeeded. After centuries as a barn, Cedd's church of Saint Peter was restored in 1920, and has been the Orthona Community's chapel since 1946. As the building was constructed on the edge of the Roman foundations, across a wall rather than centrally, it has been suggested that it may not have been the only church built here, nor the main one.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Canterbury, Kent||St Martin's Church||597–602||The oldest church in continuous use in Great Britain. Dedicated to St Martin of Tours by Queen Bertha of Kent, it dates from the Roman occupation of Britain (so before the early 5th century). Described as "old" when St Augustine landed in 596, it was his pro-cathedral until his main cathedral (a predecessor of the present Canterbury Cathedral) was consecrated. St Martin's has been a parish church ever since.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Chester-le-Street, County Durham||Collegiate Church of St Mary and St Cuthbert||883–c. 995||Leaving Lindisfarne in 875 after Viking raids, the monastic community, with the body of St Cuthbert, journeyed until they were granted land here in 883. This became the see of the Bishop of Lindisfarne until, in c. 995, fear of further Viking attacks led the community to prefer the easily defended site at Durham as Cuthbert's last resting place, so the see was translated there and renamed. The wooden former cathedral in Chester-Le-Street was replaced in 1054 by a stone church, collegiate 1286-1547, since retained as the parish church (shown). Ankers House Museum (attached to the church) includes material from its days as a cathedral.|
|Crediton, Devon||100px||Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him who hung thereon||909–1050||A purported charter of 739 by King AEthelheard of Wessex granted land here to Bishop Forthhere of Sherborne (who died c. 737, succeeded by Herewald) for a monastery. A new see, for Devon, was created in the early 10th century out of the diocese of Sherborne. possibly first at Tawton (later named Bishop's Tawton), but certainly by 909 at Crediton. The (likely wooden) monastic cathedral of St Mary was replaced, after the see had been moved to Exeter in 1050, by a new collegiate church on the same site, with a new dedication from the 1230s, the college being dissolved in 1545. The church was bought in 1547 by parishioners as their parish church.|
|Dommoc, Suffolk||dedication unknown||c. 630 – c. 850||Possibly translated from Soham, several locations have been suggested for the Anglo-Saxon see of East Anglia, founded by St Felix: notably (1) Dunwich, an important mediaeval town and port now under the sea, or (2) the old Roman fort of Walton now off the coast at Felixstowe. The latter may be the more likely, its placename being derived from Felix stowe (= Felix's holy place). Two sets of co-ordinates are given: the first, very approximate, for the submerged town of Dunwich; the second for the offshore masonry remains (visible only at exceptionally low tides) of the Roman fort. The diocese was split c. 673, creating an additional see at North Elmham. The list of Bishops of Dommoc continued until Danish invasions c. 850.||
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|Dorchester on Thames, Oxfordshire||Abbey Church of St Peter & St Paul||635 – c. 660 and c. 875 – 1072||The first West Saxon see was founded here c. 635, translated to Winchester c. 660. It became a Mercian bishopric in c. 875 when the see of Leicester was transferred here for safety. That see was translated to Lincoln in 1072. The secular canons of 635-1140 were succeeded by an Augustinian Priory in 1140. At the priory's dissolution in 1536 the church was bought, to become the parish church. There are some 11th-century traces.|
|Durham, County Durham||The White Church (Alba Ecclesia) (almost certainly dedicated to St Cuthbert)||c. 998 – c. 1104||Towards the end of the 10th century the community of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, which had been settled at Chester-Le-Street for almost a century (since 883), became fearful of renewed Viking attacks. Carrying St Cuthbert's body they once again sought safety, and journeyed south to arrive in 995 at Durham, which provided a secure site. After using one or two temporary wooden structures, in 998 the community began building a stone (therefore "white") church into which Cuthbert's relics were transferred the next year. This cruciform stone Anglo-Saxon cathedral, with a central and a western tower. was completed c. 1020. In 1083 the second Norman bishop, William de St-Calais, suppressed the community of St Cuthbert and replaced them with Benedictine monks from Evesham Abbey, who had lately restored Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey. Durham thus became a cathedral priory, and in 1093 Bishop William began construction of the Norman cathedral that underlies today's Durham Cathedral. By 1104 building had progressed sufficiently to allow the transfer of Cuthbert's relics from The White Church to the new cathedral, allowing the demolition of The White Church. There is now considerable evidence that the foundations of The White Church lie beneath the cloister garth (shown) in the monastic buildings just south of the present cathedral. The co-ordinates given are those for the Durham Cathedral cloister garth.|
|Exeter, Devon||The Minster of Saint Mary and Saint Peter||1050 – c.1133||Originating in a 7th-century monastery, the minster became the seat of Bishop Leofric when the see of Crediton was translated to Exeter in 1050. With its dual dedication it is likely that the minster comprised a pair of churches, with the more easterly (St Peter's) becoming the cathedral church while the other (St Mary's) continued to serve the local people. Building of the Norman cathedral of St Peter began in 1114 just east of St Mary's (so over the site of the church of St Peter, and continued that dedication). It was completed c. 1200. By 1222 St Mary's had become the parish church of St Mary Major (Great St Mary). By the mid-19th century its proximity (23m) to the cathedral's west front was criticized as spoiling that vista, so the ancient church (shown, upper image) was demolished in 1865 and a new one (same dedication) built a little further west (but demolished in 1971). Co-ordinates given are for the finial (shown, lower image) from the steeple of the 1865 church which is sited on the enlarged Cathedral Green to show where the tower of that church once stood (but it is unlabelled).|
|Hexham, Northumberland||Priory and Parish Church of St. Andrew||678 – c. 821||A monastery founded c. 674 by Wilfrid became the site of a cathedral in 678, but the monastery was destroyed in 9th-century Viking raids. An Augustinian priory founded in 1113, which re-used the earlier site, was dissolved in 1537. The priory's chancel was saved as the parish church, and a new nave was added later, being finally completed in 1907-08. The present structure includes some Anglo-Saxon material, notably the "Frith Stool" (possibly once a bishop's throne) and Wilfrid's original crypt (shown).|
|Hoxne, Suffolk||Church of Saint Peter and St Paul||c. 950 – c. 1040||In the early 10th century, after a period of Danish attacks, Bishop Theodred of London had an additional see at Hoxne, with a cathedral dedicated to St Ethelbehrt; by 1040 the see was joined with North Elmham. In 1101 the former cathedral (by then the Church of St Peter) was given by Hoxne Priory to Norwich Cathedral, and is thought to have become the parish church of St Peter & St Paul (shown). Hoxne Priory was 0.7 miles / 1.1 km (approx) south of the church.|
|Leicester, Leicestershire||dedication uncertain||679–874||The location of the 7th-century cathedral here is not known with certainty, but was very likely St Nicholas' church (shown) with clear early Anglo-Saxon origins and incorporating Roman materials. It lies between the sites of the Roman baths and the Roman forum. Overrun by Danes in c. 875 the see was suppressed and merged with Dorchester. St Nicholas' is now a parish church. The modern Diocese of Leicester was founded in 1927.|
|Lindisfarne, Northumberland||original dedication unclear||635–875||A monastery was founded in 635 by King Oswald for St Aidan as the site for a cathedral for the northern part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Viking raids from 793 led to its destruction in 875. The community fled, with the relics of Saint Cuthbert, later settling at Chester-Le-Street in 883, then Durham in 995. The see was translated to Durham, which founded a sub-priory here in 1083 (dissolved 1537). Extensive remains of the priory are held by English Heritage. The exact location of Aidan's wooden cathedral is not known for certain, but it is confidently claimed that Anglo-Saxon features in the parish church of St Mary the Virgin (shown), adjacent to the priory ruins, are from the rebuilt-in-stone cathedral; so the co-ordinates given here are for the parish church.|
|North Elmham, Norfolk||dedication unknown||673–1070||The see of Elmham was created c. 673 when the East Anglian diocese, with its see at Dommoc, was split. The succession of Elmham bishops was interrupted between c. 850 and c. 950, when the region was subject to Viking raids. The restored see was translated to Thetford in 1070. Church remains, in the hands of English Heritage, are held to date from c. 1100, the earlier cathedral having probably been wooden.|
|Padstow, Cornwall||St Petroc's Church, Padstow||518–564?||By tradition Saint Petroc landed 518 at Trebetherick, near what became Padstow (Petroc-stow = holy place of Petroc) after his death. He succeeded the hermit-bishop Wethinoc, who had founded a monastery. Petroc named it Lanwethinoc and its church became Petroc's cathedral for Cornwall. He died there c. 564. After a final Viking attack razed the monastery in 981, the monks moved to Bodmin, taking Petroc's relics. The parish church (shown) is mostly 15th-century and later, but is believed to occupy the original monastic site.|
|Ramsbury, Wiltshire||dedication unknown||909–1058||This short-lived diocese was created for Wiltshire in 909 out of the Diocese of Sherborne, but they were reunited in 1058. The cathedral site is now occupied by the parish church of the Holy Cross (shown) with fabric of the 13th century and later.|
|Repton, Derbyshire||dedication unknown||c. 655 – 669||An early- to mid-7th-century double monastery of Celtic origin here provided the supposed original see for Mercia. Four bishops of Mercia are named, before St Chad moved the see to Lichfield when he became bishop in 669, though they may have been peripatetic (having no fixed see). The Repton monastery was destroyed when a Danish army overwintered there in 873/4, though the crypt of the abbey church (shown), dating from c. 720, survived and was used for Mercian royal burials. An Augustinian priory, founded c. 1158 and dedicated to St Wystan, used the same site (dissolved 1538). Traces of priory buildings exist in Repton School (1559), adjacent to St Wystan's church, now the parish church.|
|Ripon, North Yorkshire||Minster church of St Peter||679 – c. 686||A monastery was founded here c. 655, from the original monastery at Melrose, both then in Northumbria. By c. 660 St Wilfrid was abbot here, and in 664 was nominated as Bishop of York. He sought episcopal consecration in Gaul, so St Chad was appointed to York instead. Wilfrid, now a bishop but with no see, returned c. 667 to his monastery at Ripon. In 669 Wilfrid replaced Chad, and from c. 671-678 he built a large stone church at Ripon, with a crypt to house relics. In 678 Wilfrid was expelled from his see (and lost control of his monasteries) in a dispute with the Northumbrian king, who wanted to split the large York diocese. From 679 to c. 686, Ripon's great church was a cathedral for Bishop Eadhaed, after which the Ripon diocese was reunited with York. Subsequent warfare between the English and the Danes destroyed Ripon's monastery and former cathedral (but left the crypt intact). Later rebuilt several times (the scheme begun in the late 15th century was left unfinished), the church became the cathedral for the modern (1836) Diocese of Ripon (which in turn became part of the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales (formally the Diocese of Leeds) in 2014. From the 7th-century cathedral, Wilfrid's crypt survives, similar to the one he built at Hexham.|
|St Germans, Cornwall||Priory Church of St Germanus||early 10th century – c. 1027||King Athelstan (of England—by then including Cornwall) appointed Conan as Bishop of Cornwall in 936, with his see at St Germans. Some earlier bishops of Cornwall (after Kenstec) were probably also based at St Germans. Lyfing, Bishop of Crediton, became additionally Bishop of Cornwall in c. 1027, uniting the two sees at Crediton. The former cathedral became collegiate c. 1050, then an Augustinian priory c. 1184; this was dissolved in 1539, leaving a parish church with some Norman fabric.|
|Selsey, Sussex||Selsey Abbey (Abbey Church of St Peter?)||c. 681 – c.1075||With the help of King Ethelwealh of Sussex, St Wilfrid founded a monastery and bishopric here in 681. He returned to the north c. 686, but the see was revived c. 709 after a period of disturbance. It was translated to Chichester immediately following the Council of London in 1075. Centuries of coastal erosion seem to be behind a long-standing tradition that the site of the cathedral is now under the sea. Nevertheless, the leading contender for the cathedral's site is the 13th-century St Wilfrid's Chapel, Church Norton (shown), which is the chancel left when the rest of the parish church there was dismantled (1864–66) and moved about 2 miles to Selsey village to become (with additions) the new parish church. The chapel received its dedication to St Wilfrid in 1917, and its co-ordinates are given.|
|Sherborne, Dorset||Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin||705–1075||In 705 the see was created for western Wessex, until then part of the diocese of Winchester. In 909 three more new dioceses were created for Devon and Cornwall (at Crediton), Wiltshire (Ramsbury), and Somerset (Wells), which left Sherborne with Dorset only. Ramsbury was reunited with Sherborne in 1058, and the see translated to Old Sarum in 1075. Sherborne became a Benedictine priory in c. 993, an abbey in 1122 (which was dissolved in 1539). Its church was bought by townspeople to be the parish church. Sherborne School incorporates some abbey buildings.|
|Soham, Cambridgeshire||dedication(s) unknown||c. 630? and c. 900 – c. 950||A monastery of c. 630 here, supposedly founded by St Felix, may have had an early cathedral for East Anglia (soon translated to Dommoc). It was destroyed by Danes c. 870, but when rebuilt c. 900 may have served as a cathedral then, when the sees of both Dommoc and North Elmham had ceased to function. Traces remain in St Andrew's parish church (shown) at co-ordinates stated.|
|Stow, Lincolnshire||Minster Church of St Mary||c. 680 – c. 875||The large Mercian diocese established by Chad at Lichfield was divided in 678 with a see created in the Kingdom of Lindsey for the Bishop of Lindsey. However its location is unknown, and the tradition that the cathedral was at Stow is now largely discounted in favour of a site in Lincoln itself. The see of Lindsey suffered from Danish invasion, and hence was translated to Dorchester in the mid-9th century. In its present form the important Stow Minster dates from the mid-10th century when, it is claimed, the minster effectively became a second cathedral for the north east of Dorchester diocese, with several diocesan officers and clergy based there until the see of Dorchester was translated to Lincoln 1067. It is now a parish church.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Tawton, (later Bishop's Tawton), Devon||Dedication uncertain||c. 905 – c.909||Several sources dating from the 16th and 17th centuries record that the see for the first bishop for Devon (a diocese created by dividing the Diocese of Sherborne in the early 10th century) was near Barnstaple, at Tawton (afterwards named Bishop's Tawton). Werstan held the office from its creation in 905 to his death in 906; his successor, Putta, was murdered in 909 on his way to Crediton. Putta's successor (Eadwulf) immediately moved the see to Crediton. Any link between a 10th-century bishop's church/cathedral here and the extant parish church of St John the Baptist (shown) is conjectural. The case for a brief bishopric at Tawton is far from proved, but there are remains of a modest bishop's "palace" at Court Farm, next to the parish church. This residence was used for centuries by the diocesan bishops, and the parish was a bishop's peculiar. The co-ordinates given are for the 14th-century parish church, heavily restored in the 19th century.|
|Wells, Somerset||Minster of St Andrew||909 – 1175||In c. 909 the Diocese of Sherborne, covering South-West England, was divided creating several new dioceses. Wells was chosen as the see for Somerset, and the town's minster, founded c. 705, became the cathedral for the Diocese of Wells. In 1090 a new bishop, John of Tours, moved the see to Bath Abbey and built a new cathedral there. Despite Wells' much-disputed loss of status, in 1176 a start was made on a building of a much larger scale in the then new style, further north and on a different alignment, forming the basis of the present Wells Cathedral. (Wells became a cathedral city once again in 1245.) The only accessible material from the Anglo-Saxon former cathedral is the supposed font (shown), dated c.700. The co-ordinates given are of the cloister garth where excavations of 1978-80 located the foundations of the former cathedral, though they have been left undisturbed.|
Cathedrals founded (or proposed) between 1066 and 1539
becoming Church of England at the Reformation
|Bath, Somerset||Priory Church of St Peter & St Paul||1090–1539||Founded c. 676 for nuns, who were replaced c. 758 by monks, the abbey was later destroyed by Danes. Refounded c. 963 (Benedictine from c. 980), it was destroyed in 1087. Rebuilt from 1088, the see for Somerset was translated from Wells to Bath in 1090 and it became a cathedral priory. Bath cathedral was joint with Glastonbury 1195-1218. It was then co-cathedral with Wells from 1245. Wells was increasingly favoured by subsequent bishops, Bath neglected. Bath priory was dissolved 1539; the site was sold, the buildings partially demolished. The church was given as a parish church in 1572.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Chester, Cheshire||Collegiate Church of St John the Baptist||1075–1102||Originally, according to tradition, a minster church founded by King AEthelred of Mercia in 689 on the site of an earlier church. Repaired and refounded c. 1057 by Leofric, Earl of Mercia as a collegiate church, dedicated to The Holy Rood and St John the Baptist, it became the cathedral for the Mercian diocese when the see was translated to Chester from the much smaller city of Lichfield in 1075 following a decree of the Council of London in 1075. Although the see was again translated by 1102 to Coventry, some later bishops of Coventry and Lichfield used the title of Bishop of Chester up to the Reformation. (In 1541 a new Chester diocese was founded, but with its cathedral at the newly-dissolved monastery of St Werburgh in Chester.) The Norman core of St John's remains in use as a parish church. The ruins to the east were left when the college was dissolved c. 1547 and the east end of the church truncated. The west end has the base of the twice collapsed (1574 and 1881) tower. The church was much restored 1859-66.|
|Coventry, (Warwickshire), West Midlands||Cathedral Priory of St Mary, St Peter and St Osburga||1102–1539||A Benedictine abbey was founded 1043 on the site of a Saxon nunnery founded by St Osburga. The see of Lichfield, translated to Chester 1075, moved to Coventry by 1102, the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield thus having two cathedrals until 1539 when the monastic cathedral priory at Coventry was dissolved. Local funds were inadequate to save the priory church, so it was sold for demolition in 1545. Significant remains have been located and preserved. The modern Diocese of Coventry was founded in 1918.|
|Glastonbury, Somerset||Glastonbury Abbey||1195–1218||There is evidence of a 6th-century monastery (though legend asserts a 1st-century origin); it was Benedictine from 940. In 1195 the Bishop of Bath was made (additionally) Abbot of Glastonbury styling himself Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury. This title persisted, though opposed by the monks of Glastonbury, until 1218 when the pope found for them and the title reverted. The Abbey was dissolved in 1539. However, the site was bought in 1907 on behalf of the Church of England. The extensive remains can be visited (admission charge).|
|Old Sarum, Wiltshire||Old Sarum Cathedral||1075–1219||The Normans built a castle and a cathedral on this Iron Age hillfort, and moved the see here from Sherborne in 1075. The cathedral was demolished and the see translated to Salisbury (New Sarum), 2 miles south, in 1219. The site of Old Sarum is in the hands of English Heritage, with extensive remains including the former cathedral's foundations (shown).|
|Thetford, Norfolk||Minster of St Mary the Greater||1072–c. 1094||This minster was briefly the see for East Anglia, translated from North Elmham in 1072, then to Norwich c. 1094. The building (likely wooden) temporarily housed a Cluniac priory in the early 12th century; the site was occupied by a Dominican friary from 1335 to dissolution in 1538. The exact location of the former cathedral is uncertain, but is believed to be near Thetford Grammar School (co-ordinates given) which incorporates some remains of the friary.|
|Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire||Collegiate Church of The Holy Trinity||proposed||A minster church was founded in c. 795, and re-founded as a Benedictine priory by Bishop Oswald of Worcester c. 962. The monks left to start Ramsey Abbey c. 974. A monastery was re-founded by St Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester c. 1093, but the church became collegiate c. 1194. From 1286 Bishop Giffard of Worcester intended Westbury as second cathedral for the diocese, but he died 1302. A similar plan by Bishop Carpenter in 1455 led to enlargement of the college, a change of dedication from "St Mary" to "Holy Trinity", and his use of the title "Bishop of Worcester and Westbury", but this last ceased on his death 1476. The college was dissolved in 1544, becoming a parish church with no fabric now visible earlier than 1194. Some of the former collegiate buildings survive nearby.|
Cathedrals founded (or proposed) from 1540 to the present
Church of England from their foundation or the proposal
The cathedrals of St Albans and Southwell qualify for inclusion here because the 1540 proposals to raise them to cathedral status failed, as for many others in this section of the list. Later proposals succeeded in elevating them in 1877 and 1884 respectively, so they will be found also in lists of extant cathedrals.
|Aldfield, North Yorkshire||Abbey Church of St Mary||proposed||Known as Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian house of 1132, dissolved in 1539. In 1540 Henry VIII proposed the abbey church as a cathedral for a new Dales bishopric, but the site was sold. Extensive remains are in the hands of the National Trust.|
|Bodmin, Cornwall||Priory Church of St Mary & St Petroc||proposed||An Augustinian priory, founded c. 1120 near the former monastic cathedral, was dissolved in 1539. In 1540 Henry VIII proposed the priory church as a cathedral for Cornwall, but the site was sold in 1543 and the buildings demolished for their stone over the following two centuries. The unexcavated site is partly covered at its western end by the 18th-century Priory House, recently used as council offices but sold in 2016 for conversion to housing. Construction work there in the mid-1980s unearthed evidence of the priory, and some stonework is visible by Priory House at the co-ordinates given, a short distance east of the parish church of St Petroc across the road.|
|Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk||Abbey Church of St Mary & St Edmund||proposed||Founded c. 633, the remains of St Edmund, martyred in 870 were brought here in 903. The church became collegiate c. 925., then a Benedictine abbey in 1020, dissolved in 1539. Henry VIII proposed the abbey church as a cathedral in 1540, but the site was sold. The ruins (shown) are in the hands of the National Trust.|
|Colchester, Essex||Abbey Church of St John the Baptist||proposed||A Benedictine monastery founded here in 1096 was dissolved in 1539. The abbey church was a proposed cathedral of Henry VIII in 1540. Only the 15th-century abbey gatehouse (shown) remains (in the hands of English Heritage), other abbey buildings were believed destroyed in the English Civil War siege of 1648. The site has been in military use since the mid-1800s.|
|Coventry, (Warwickshire), West Midlands||St Michael's Cathedral||1918–1940||This was a very large medieval parish church, dating from c. 1300. Collegiate from 1908, it beame a cathedral in 1918 when the modern Diocese of Coventry was created. It was fire-bombed in 1940. (The new cathedral of St Michael, built 1951-1962, adjoins the ruins.) Extensive remains include the 14th-century tower with 15th-century spire.|
|Dunstable, Bedfordshire||Priory Church of St Peter||proposed||An Augustinian house founded by 1125. Dissolved in 1540, the priory church was proposed by Henry VIII 1540 as a cathedral for Bedfordshire. Instead, the nave became a parish church.|
|Guildford, Surrey||Holy Trinity Church||1927–1961||The current parish church, completed 1763, replaced a mediaeval, possibly Norman, church destroyed 1740 by the collapse of its steeple. Only the Weston Chapel (c. 1540) remains from the earlier building. Holy Trinity was pro-cathedral for the new Diocese of Guildford from its creation in 1927 until the dedication of the new cathedral in 1961.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Guisborough, North Yorkshire||Priory Church of St Mary||proposed||The Augustinian priory, founded 1119, was dissolved in 1540. It was among Henry VIII's 1540 proposals for new cathedrals, but instead its buildings were largely demolished. Remains (shown) are in the hands of English Heritage. (The town's name is Guisborough, but the priory's historic name is Gisborough).|
|Launceston, Cornwall||Priory Church of St Stephen||proposed||An Augustinian priory was founded 1127 on the site of a c. 830 church of St Stephen, north of the town. In 1155 the priory moved to a new site closer to the town. Dissolved 1539, the priory church was proposed in 1540 as a cathedral for Cornwall by Henry VIII, to no avail. Some remains exist near St Thomas the Apostle church, Launceston.|
|Leicester, Leicestershire||Abbey Church of St Mary de Pratis (St Mary of the Meadows)||proposed||An Augustinian house of 1143, Cardinal Wolsey died here in 1530. Dissolved in 1538, the abbey's church was proposed in 1540 by Henry VIII as a cathedral but the site was sold. Abbey Park (public) contains some remains: the abbey's perimeter walls plus its conjectured foundations.|
|Osney, Oxfordshire||Abbey Church of St Mary||1542–1545||An Augustinian priory founded in 1129, raised to abbey status c. 1154, but dissolved in 1539. Under 1540 proposals of Henry VIII the abbey church became the cathedral for Oxfordshire in 1542, but was closed in 1545 when the see was translated to Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford in 1546. There are few remains.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|St Albans, Hertfordshire||100px||Abbey Church of St Alban||proposed||A Benedictine abbey founded 793, it was dissolved 1539. Henry VIII proposed the abbey church as Hertfordshire's cathedral in 1540, but instead it was sold in 1553 to the townspeople to become the parish church. (It remained so until 1877 when it became a cathedral.)|
|Shrewsbury, Shropshire||Abbey Church of St Peter & St Paul||proposed||A Benedictine abbey was founded in 1083 (on the site of the Anglo-Saxon church of St Peter), dissolved in 1539. The abbey church was proposed in 1540 as a cathedral for Shropshire by Henry VIII. Instead the nave was retained as a parish church. A 1922 proposal for cathedral status was rejected by one vote in the House of Lords in 1926.|
|Southend-on-Sea, Essex||St Erkenwald's Church||proposed?||A very large church built 1905-1910, and soon anecdotally considered by some as a potential cathedral. It fell into disrepair, was declared redundant in 1978, and was demolished in 1995 after a severe fire.|
|Southwell, Nottinghamshire||100px||Collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary||proposed||A minster church founded c. 956, it became collegiate shortly after. The college was dissolved in 1540 in a plan by Henry VIII to create a cathedral for Nottinghamshire (a possible alternative to Welbeck) but reconstituted as a college by Parliament in 1543. Collegiate status was again removed 1548, reinstated 1557, and finally removed 1841. It remained a parish church until it was raised to cathedral status in 1884.|
|Waltham Abbey, Essex||Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross & St Lawrence||proposed||A minster church on this site was founded c. 610 but abandoned 617, then re-established in the mid-8th century. Enlarged c. 1060, supposedly by King Harold II, who some legends say was buried here after his defeat by William I in 1066. It became an Augustinian priory in 1177, an abbey in 1184, but was dissolved in 1540. Proposed the same year as a cathedral by Henry VIII without success, the nave was saved as a parish church. It was a Royal Peculiar 1184-1865.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Welbeck, Nottinghamshire||Abbey Church of St James the Great||proposed||A Premonstratensian abbey founded in 1140, it was dissolved in 1538. Proposed in 1540 by Henry VIII as a cathedral for Nottinghamshire (an alternative to Southwell), but the site was sold. The mansion later built on the site (shown) has traces of the former abbey.|
|Westminster, London||The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster||1540–1550||An abbey founded in the 7th century, it was destroyed by Danes in the 9th century. Refounded c. 959, the abbey was suppressed in 1540 but its church immediately became one of Henry VIII's new cathedrals, the second for London (after St Paul's). Cathedral status was removed in 1550. Re-established as a Benedictine monastery by Mary I in 1556, it was dissolved in 1559, becoming a collegiate church in 1560 but still universally known as Westminster Abbey. It is a Royal Peculiar.|
Post-Reformation Roman Catholic Cathedrals
|City of London, London||St Mary's Church, Moorfields||1852–1869||Built in 1820 to replace the church destroyed by the Gordon Riots. It was the first pro-cathedral of the Archdiocese of Westminster. It was replaced by Our Lady of Victories Church and demolished in 1900. The present St Mary's Church was opened in 1902.|
|Clifton, Bristol||Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Apostles||1850–1973||Roman Catholic pro-cathedral replaced by Clifton Cathedral
|Hereford, Herefordshire||Abbey Church of St Michael and All Angels||1854–1920||The Diocese of Newport and Menevia was created in 1850 but with no official seat. In 1854 building began when it was agreed that this would be the pro-cathedral. In 1859 it became a Benedictine priory, consecrated 1860. The see was translated to St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Cardiff in 1920. It is now Belmont Abbey.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Kensington, London||Our Lady of Victories Church||1869–1903||It was the pro-cathedral for nearly thirty-six years until Westminster Cathedral in London was opened in 1903||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Liverpool, (Lancashire), Merseyside||Pro-Cathedral of St. Nicholas||1850–1967||Built in 1813, it was replaced by Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in 1967. It was then a parish church for the Archdiocese of Liverpool until its demolition in 1973||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire||Our Lady Of Perpetual Succour||1878–1983||It was a pro-cathedral until the Roman Catholic see was translated to Coulby Newham in 1983. The former site was redeveloped following the demolition of the building after damage from an arson attack on 30 May 2000.|
|Plymouth, Devon||Our Lady and St John the Evangelist Church||1850–1858||Known as St. Mary's Church, it opened on 20 December 1807 and was pro-cathedral for the Diocese of Plymouth from 1850 to 1858, when Plymouth Cathedral was opened. The church was then remodelled and given to the Little Sisters of the Poor. In 1884, they left and it was converted into housing. It was demolished in 1960.|
|Southampton, Hampshire||St Joseph's Church||1882||It served as a pro-cathedral from May to August 1882, until the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist was built.|
|Southwark, London||Archbishop Amigo Jubilee Hall||1942–1958||It served as a pro-cathedral during the rebuilding of the adjacent cathedral following destruction during World War II|
|York, North Yorkshire||St. George's Church||1850–1864||It served as a pro-cathedral for the Diocese of Beverley until the construction of St. Wilfrid's in York.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|York, North Yorkshire||100px||St Wilfrid's Church||1864–1878||It succeeded St George's as pro-cathedral for the Diocese of Beverley until in 1878 the diocese was split into the Diocese of Leeds and the Diocese of Middlesbrough.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is not part of Great Britain (nor the United Kingdom) politically, but it is ecclesiastically. For the Church of England it forms the Diocese of Sodor and Man in the Province of York; for the Roman Catholic church, it is in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. The long-standing political status of the Isle of Man is that of a Crown Dependency.
|Kirk Michael||The Chapel of St Nicholas at Bishopscourt||1895-1979||Bishopscourt was the Palace of the Diocesan Bishop of Sodor and Man from 1698 until it was sold in 1979. In 1895 the chapel was designated as pro-cathedral by Bishop Straton. Bishopscourt is now privately owned, with no public access.|
|Peel||St German's Cathedral, Peel Castle||5th century? then
12th century – 1895
|Tradition tells that Saint Patrick built a cathedral on a small tidal islet off the coast, later called St Patrick's Isle. Stone monastic buildings followed in c. 900. A cathedral was re-established there by the 13th century for the island's Diocese of Sodor and Man (which once included the Scottish Hebrides - called Sodor from their Norse name - together with Man, which had all been under Norwegian rule for some two centuries before being ceded to Scotland in 1266). In the 14th century the Isle of Man came under English control while Scotland retained the Hebrides, so the diocese then became restricted to the Isle of Man alone. Over the following centuries the Cathedral of St German gradually fell into disrepair. By 1780 it was an unusable ruin, and later bishops were enthroned at St Mary's, Castletown (now Old St Mary's) or (after 1895) at St George's, Douglas until the parish church of St German, built 1879-1884 in the City of Peel, was raised to cathedral status in 1980. Peel Castle, including the monastic and cathedral ruins, is cared for by Manx National Heritage.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
Pre-Reformation Cathedrals (or proposed Cathedrals)
For various reasons, formal dioceses were formed later in Scotland than in the rest of Great Britain. Bishops certainly existed in areas from the earliest Christian times (often from Irish monastic missionary activity), but the territory over which an early (often monastic) bishop operated was limited and ill-defined. Hence the term "bishop's church" is sometimes used for a seat used by an early bishop rather than the word "cathedral" which some expect to be attached to a formal diocese. Traditionally, the medieval Scottish diocesan system was held to have been largely created by King David I (reigned 1124-1153), though this is an oversimplification.
By Act of the Scottish Parliament 1690 (confirming the Church's own final decision of 1689) the Church of Scotland became wholly Presbyterian, with no dioceses, no bishops, so no functioning cathedrals. At that date all Church of Scotland cathedrals became former cathedrals. Some still use the title, but for honorific purposes only.
|Abercorn, West Lothian||dedication unknown||681-685||A monastery was founded c. 675 by St Wilfrid near the northern extremity of the newly expanded Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria. In 681 St Trumwine from Lindisfarne was appointed "Bishop of those Picts who were then subject to English rule" i.e. those north of the River Forth paying tribute to Northumbria. In 685 he abandoned his see to the Gododdin people following the defeat of the Northumbrians by the Picts at the Battle of Nechtansmere. The existing kirk (12th century and later, shown) is on or very close to the monastic site.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire||St Machar's Cathedral||1131-1690||(Diocese of Aberdeen) Legend tells of a church founded 580 by St Machar in Old Aberdeen. In 1131 a Norman cathedral was built and dedicated to the saint when the see was translated from Mortlach (now Dufftown). After c. 230 years this cathedral was demolished and replaced (over the course of some 150 years) by the present building. However, in 1560 (in the Scottish Reformation) the chancel was demolished. In 1688 the central tower and spire collapsed, almost destroying the choir and transepts. Only the nave remained in use, forming the present High Kirk of Aberdeen. The surrounding ruins are cared for by Historic Scotland, and many features of interest remain.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Abernethy, (Perthshire), Perth and Kinross||dedication unclear||early 8th century – 11th century?||Once a very important centre for the Picts, the history of a supposed bishopric here is obscure. No bishops' names are known for certain, but Fergus may have been one of three during the early 8th century. Any bishopric had moved to Muthill by the 12th century. The original church of St Brigid, said to date from the 6th century, may have been a bishop's church. A small Augustinian priory of 1272 likely included Culdees, possibly associated with the 11th-12th century round tower, now cared for by Historic Scotland. The priory, which was suppressed and replaced by lay canons in the 15th century, may have used the ancient church. It was in ruins by 1802, when the current parish kirk of St Brigid was built nearby, the older site then being used for burials..||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Birnie, Elgin, Moray||St Brendan's Church||c. 1140–1184||(Diocese of Moray) The first bishop of the diocese (Gregory) is recorded c. 1120 and he may have used this, likely Culdee, church, built c. 1140, as his bishop's church (or proto-cathedral). The bishopric moved to Kinneddar after the death of Bishop Simon in 1184. The ancient building is still in use as the parish kirk.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Birsay, Orkney||St Magnus' Kirk||mid-11th century – 1137||(Diocese of Orkney) It has been claimed that the original church here, dedicated as Christ's Church or Christchurch, was built by Earl Thorfinn c. 1060, and used by several early bishops. Its exact location is disputed, some claiming it was on the Brough of Birsay, a tidal island just offshore, but the balance of evidence favours a mainland location here, close to the ruined palace of the 16th-century Stewart Earls of Orkney. The much-rebuilt church, likely re-dedicated following the reburial of St Magnus here soon after his murder on Egilsay, is almost certainly where Thorfinn's church stood. There is evidence of a bishop's residence nearby.|
|Brechin, Angus||Cathedral of the Holy Trinity||ante 1150||(Diocese of Brechin) The former cathedral building, now Brechin High Kirk, dates from the 13th century. The site was formerly occupied by a Culdee monastery, possibly derived from Abernethy. After the Scottish Reformation the choir was abandoned and the rest of the building suffered from neglect. A much-criticized reconstruction completed 1806 was repaired and improved by more sensitive restoration 1900-1902. Original parts remaining include the western gable and massive square tower, parts of the choir, the nave pillars and clerestorey. Next to the church is a very fine round tower, superior to the Abernethy example, some 26.2m high, 4.9m diameter, dating from c. 1000, and cared for by Historic Scotland.|
|Dornoch, (Sutherland), Highland||St Mary's Cathedral||1239–1689?||(Diocese of Caithness) After earlier "bishop's churches" (such as St Peter's, Thurso; St Thomas's, Skinnet; and possibly a church at Halkirk), the only designated cathedral for Caithness was begun by Gilbert, the fourth bishop. The work on, or at least the planning of, the cathedral probably began soon after Bishop Gilbert's elevation c. 1223, following the maiming of the second bishop (John) and the murder of the third (Adam). The choir was completed by 1239, when Bishop Adam's remains were removed from Skinnet and re-interred here. The nave appears to have been roofed soon after 1291: it collapsed c. 1428, but was repaired. In 1570 a local feud severely damaged the whole building by fire, though all but the nave was restored by the Earl of Sutherland 1614-22. The nave was drastically rebuilt on a narrower plan 1835-1837 by a later Countess of Sutherland, in part to create a family mausoleum. The building remains in use as a parish kirk.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Dunblane, Stirling||Cathedral Church of St Blaan and St Laurence||1155-1689||(Diocese of Dunblane) Outwith the traditional link with St Blane in c. 600, the site boasts burial cross slabs confirming the presence of a Christian community here by the 9th century. The earliest bishop of Dunblane of whom we are certain was Laurence in 1155. That date also fits both the (lower part of the) tower attached to the cathedral's nave and the similar (but smaller) tower at Muthill, suggesting that both sites may once have been used together. A friar named Clement became bishop in 1233; he reversed earlier diocesan decline, and began construction of the present building. The late 15th century and the first half of the 16th brought more building work, including the upper third of the tower. After the Reformation the nave became unused and its roof gradually fell down during the 17th century. The choir was restored 1816-1819, followed by restoration of the nave 1888-1893. The whole site is cared for by Historic Scotland.|
|Dunkeld, (Perthshire), Perth and Kinross||St Columba's Cathedral||9th century
c. 1120 – 1689
|(Diocese of Dunkeld) Tradition tells of a monastery founded by the early 7th century after a visit by St Columba, who was based at Iona. By the 9th century the site had a stone-built Culdee monastery possessing relics of St Columba. In c. 869 its abbot was described as the chief bishop of the kingdom, but very soon after St Andrews became the chief bishopric of the Scottish church. The cathedral was re-founded in the 12th century, though most surviving fabric dates from the 15th century (there are traces of Culdee stonework). In the Scottish Reformation the nave was unroofed, but the 13th-century choir has been used ever since as the parish kirk. The cathedral ruins (but not the choir) are in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Egilsay, Orkney||St. Magnus' Church||It seems unlikely that this island church ever was a cathedral for the Bishop of Orkney, but "it may have been regarded as a bishop's church". The present ruined mid-12th-century church commemorates the killing here of St Magnus by his brother c. 1118, and is usually dated decades later than 1135 when Magnus was sainted. He spent the night before his murder in a church on Egilsay, its site probably reused for this church. His body was buried on Egilsay, reburied at Birsay, and finally moved to Kirkwall. Unused since the early 19th century, the church (now unroofed with its round tower, unique in Orkney, reduced in height) is in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Elgin, Moray||Cathedral of the Holy Trinity||1224–c. 1560||(Diocese of Moray) Building began promptly when Bishop Andrew received papal permission in 1224 to move the see from Spynie to Elgin. A fire in 1270 saw the rebuilt cathedral enlarged and a Chapter House added. More building work followed another fire in June 1390, the result of an attack by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan. Some further development took place during the 15th century, the last being a restructuring of the Chapter House 1482-1501. At the Scottish Reformation in 1560 the cathedral was totally abandoned in favour of the 12th-century parish kirk of St Giles, the building being left to decay and collapse. There are impressive ruins in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Fortrose, (Ross), Highland||Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Boniface of Fortrose||mid-13th century – mid-17th century||(Diocese of Ross) The see was moved here in the first half of the 13th century from Rosmarkie to a new red sandstone building consisting of a rectangular nave and choir, with (externally) a NW tower and a NE sacristy-cum- chapter house. A SW aisle and chapel were added in the 14th century. Ruins of the last two parts remain. Ecclesiastical use of the building may have continued for a while after the Scottish Reformation of 1560, but between then and c. 1650 (when the main structure was robbed of stone for Cromwell's citadel in Inverness) it was used as the burgh's town hall and prison. The ruins are in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Glasgow||St Mungo's Cathedral||1114-1689||(Diocese, then Archdiocese of Glasgow from 1492-1689) Tradition has a church settlement founded here by St Kentigern (St Mungo) in the 6th century, from which Glasgow developed. The Diocese of Glasgow began with the appointment of Bishop John (1114-1147); suggested earlier bishops were not Glasgow-based. Most of the cathedral fabric is 13th-century, though the central tower and spire are 15th-century, and the Blackadder Aisle dates from c.1500. Exceptionally among pre-Reformation Scottish cathedrals, Glasgow's was never unroofed, which helps to explain its good and complete condition. The tomb of St Mungo is in the crypt. The building, which forms the High Kirk of Glasgow, is owned by the Crown and maintained by Historic Scotland.|
|Halkirk, (Caithness), Highland||dedication uncertain||Tradition tells of a church founded here by St Fergus in the early 8th century, before Caithness fell under Norse control. Claims that the cathedral of the Bishop of Caithness was located here are unresolved. Halkirk was one part of the large parish of Skinnet until the 13th century. Clearly there was a bishop's residence here as the third bishop, Bishop Adam, was murdered in his Halkirk kitchen in 1222. His body was taken to nearby Skinnet for burial. Halkirk and Skinnet became separate parishes in the 13th century, but were reunited by 1538 as the parish of Halkirk. The parish church was replaced in 1753 on the same site by a new kirk, declared redundant in 1934 and called "Halkirk Auld Kirk" (shown). No pre-1753 remains are known.|
|Hoddom, (Dumfriesshire), Dumfries and Galloway||dedication unknown||late 6th century||A cathedral was said to have been founded here in the late 6th century by St Mungo. Any cathedral seems not to have survived his death in 612, but a monastery developed. A parish church was built on the site in the 12th century, replaced after the Scottish Reformation by a new kirk of 1609 nearer to Ecclefechan at Hoddom Cross (burnt down in 1975). The co-ordinates given are for the former monastic site.|
|Iona, Argyll and Bute||St Mary's Cathedral||7th century – 10th century?||An ancient place of Christian worship, started by St Columba in the 7th century. After a short spell in the 17th century (so Post-Reformation) as the see of the Bishop of the Isles, it was rebuilt in the 20th century (shown) by, and for, the Iona Community.|
|Kingarth, Argyll and Bute||Monastery of St Blane||6th century||A monastery was reputedly built here by Saint Cathan. He was succeeded as bishop by his nephew Saint Blane. It was a cathedral until St Blane's death c. 590. The monastery was destroyed by Viking raids c. 790. A new church was built on the site in the 12th century, but fell out of use after 1560. Ruins (shown) are in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Kinneddar, Moray||Kirk of Kinneddar||c. 1187 – c. 1208||(Diocese of Moray) Shortly after 1184 the seat of the Bishop of Moray was moved from Birnie to Kinneddar. Kinneddar Castle, adjacent to the new cathedral, became a residence of the bishop from 1187 until the late 14th century: now hardly a trace remains. The seat of the bishop, however, was moved again c. 1208 to Spynie by Bishop Bricus (1203-1222). Following the Scottish Reformation the former cathedral was abandoned in favour of a new kirk at Drainie when parishes were merged c. 1669. A mound in the old churchyard at Kinneddar (shown), used for later burials, was confirmed by surveys to be covering the foundations of the old kirk.|
|Kirkwall, Orkney||100px||St Magnus' Cathedral||1137–1689||(Diocese of Orkney) In 1135 the bones of the newly sainted St Magnus (murdered on Egilsay c. 1118) were moved from the cathedral at Birsay to the church of St Olaf near Kirkwall (of which only a sandstone arch remains). The building of a cathedral at Kirkwall, dedicated to St Magnus, began in 1137, at the instigation of his nephew, St Ronald of Orkney and of William the Old, Bishop of Orkney. Consecration, with the translation of St Magnus' relics from St Olaf's, probably took place before 1151, when both protagonists left on Crusade. Further building was done during the next four centuries. Restorations during the 19th and 20th centuries led to the discovery of supposed relics of St Ronald and St Magnus in pillars in the choir, the oldest part of the cathedral. The building houses a congregation of the Church of Scotland, but under a 1486 Charter of King James III it is owned by the town of Kirkwall.|
|Lismore, Argyll and Bute||Lismore Kirk||c. 1200 – c. 1650||(Diocese of Argyll) By tradition chosen by St Moluag in the 6th century for a monastery, Lismore became the see of a bishop in the 12th century when the Diocese of Argyll was created from the western portion of the Diocese of Dunkeld. The cathedral was small and simple, and the new diocese poor, leading to two proposals to translate the see to Saddell Abbey (which never happened). The 14th-century cathedral was abandoned after the Reformation; the whole building was roofless by 1679, the tower and nave later razed (outlines can be seen). The choir was restored to be used as the parish kirk.|
|Madderty, (Perthshire), Perth and Kinross||Inchaffray Abbey Church of the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist||proposed||In c. 1200 Gilbert, Earl of Strathearn, founded an Augustinian priory on a site which already had a church (dedicated to St John) and "a group of ecclesiastics known in contemporary documents as 'brethren'", quite possibly Culdees. The priory became an abbey c. 1220. By c. 1230 Dunblane Cathedral was roofless and had few staff, so in 1237 it was proposed that the see of Dunblane be transferred to Inchaffray Abbey. However, Bishop Clement of Dunblane (1233–58) resolved the situation at Dunblane and the proposal was abandoned. For some time the Abbey remained large and relatively well-off, but by the time of the Scottish Reformation in 1560 it was among the poorest. A few ruins remain on farmland.|
|Mortlach, (now Dufftown), Moray||St Moluag's Cathedral||1011 to 1131||(Diocese of Aberdeen) The Chronicle of John of Fordun records the establishment of an episcopal seat in Mortlach aided by Malcolm II of Scotland, c. 1011. The see was translated to Aberdeen in 1131. The placename of Mortlach was superseded in 1817 when a new village of Dufftown was created to the immediate north of the church (now located in the Dufftown district known as Kirktown of Mortlach). The parish kirk, much rebuilt, is on the cathedral's original site, and contains some ancient fabric.|
|Muthill, (Perthshire), Perth and Kinross||dedication unknown||c. 12th century||(Diocese of Dunblane) Culdees were here in the 12th century when Abernethy's bishopric moved to Muthill. The bishops based here often took the title "Bishop of Strathearn". They had moved to Dunblane by the 13th century, leaving their cathedral here, with its distinctive tower, as a parish church. Enlarged in the 15th century, it was abandoned for a new kirk built 1826-28. It is now in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Rosemarkie, (Ross), Highland||Cathedral Church of St Peter||early 8th century and 1124 until mid-13th century||(Diocese of Ross} A monastic cathedral was reputedly founded by St Curetán (also known as St Boniface) as Bishop of Ross in c. 716. The Diocese of Ross was restored by David I of Scotland in 1124. Remains of Curetán's church have been found and placed in the current parish kirk, built in 1821 on the same site. In the mid-13th century, Fortrose Cathedral was built 2 km ESE, and the see was translated there.|
|Saddell, Kintyre, Argyll and Bute||Saddell Abbey||proposed||A Cistercian monastery founded in 1160, completed 1207. In 1249 it was proposed that the seat of the Bishop of Argyll should move here from St Moluag's Cathedral, Lismore because of the latter's then ruinous state. This did not happen then, but in 1507 King James IV declared that Sadell's monastic life had ceased and he transferred the Abbey's lands to the Bishop of Argyll who, in 1508, built a residence here using stone from the defunct Abbey. In 1512 James IV once more tried to have the see of Argyll moved to Sadell, but again no move took place and the Abbey fell further into ruin. The site eventually became a graveyard but some Abbey remains (shown) can be found.|
|St Andrews, Fife||Church of St Regulus (or St Rule)||c. 1070 – early 14th century||(Diocese of St Andrews) Named for a legendary 4th-century Greek who, one tradition says, brought bones of St Andrew to Scotland. A more likely source of the relics is said to be Bishop Acca of Hexham (also dedicated to St Andrew), who was deposed in 732, returned to Scotland, and died 740. Somehow relics arrived by the 8th century on the coast at Kilrymont (or varieties of the name), a place later called St Andrews because of his relics. A monastery on the shore, which survived as the Church of St Mary on the Rock, may have cared for the relics before they were enshrined in a cathedral. The first cathedral at St Andrews, dedicated to St Regulus, was built maybe c. 1070. Bishops of St Andrews, the chief centre of the Scottish church by the mid-9th century, are recorded from c. 1028 though no cathedral earlier than that of St Regulus is known. Strongly built of squared ashlar blocks as a tower and chancel, it had a nave added to the west and a probable presbytery to the east c. 1144 when it became an Augustinian cathedral priory. The original tower and (unroofed) chancel stand in the precincts of the later cathedral of St Andrew, all in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|St Andrews, Fife||St. Andrew's Cathedral||early 14th century-1560||(Diocese, then Archdiocese of St Andrews from 1472-1689) Work began in 1158 on a successor Augustinian cathedral priory to St Regulus, and it was planned on a grand scale, as the pre-eminent bishopric in Scotland. It was finally consecrated in 1318, the largest church ever built in Scotland. Several mishaps occurred during construction and later: the west end blew down c. 1270; it was damaged by fire in 1376; the south transept blew down in 1409. At the time of the Reformation mobs attacked and looted the cathedral in 1559; by 1561 it was a ruin used as a quarry for stone and later as a burial place. The large site enclosing the ruins is in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Skeabost (Skye), Highland||Church of St Columba||late 14th century – 1630s?||(Diocese of the Isles) By a 1266 treaty Scotland took possession of the Hebrides and the Isle of Man (together called the Sudreys) from Norway, which had held them for more than 200 years. The principal cathedral for the Diocese of Sodor (a word derived from Sudrey) was on St Patrick's Isle at Peel, Isle of Man. During the 14th century the Isle of Man came under English control. The Hebrides became the Scottish Diocese of the Isles with the cathedral for its bishop located on Skye. Attempts were made in 1433 and 1498 to move the see to Iona, but this only took place in the 1630s, after the cathedral on Skye had been abandoned following the Reformation. Some ruins remain.|
|Skinnet, (Caithness), Highland||St. Thomas's Church||late 12th century – 1239||(Diocese of Caithness) Soon after Bishop Adam, the third Bishop of Caithness, was murdered 1222 at Halkirk (then part of Skinnet parish), his body was buried at the parish church of Skinnet. His successor, Bishop Gilbert, soon began to plan the move to Dornoch Cathedral, away from the area of danger. When the cathedral was consecrated, in 1239, the body of Bishop Adam was removed from Skinnet and re-interred at Dornoch. This use of Skinnet for the first interment (and not any church there may have been at Halkirk itself), may mean that Skinnet served as cathedral before Dornoch. The dedication of Skinnet parish church to Archbishop St Thomas Becket implies that it was built/rebuilt (or at least rededicated) soon after his martyrdom at Canterbury in 1170. Long abandoned, it is reduced to a few low walls, with some graves, in a field. No village remains.|
|Spynie, Elgin, Moray||Holy Trinity Cathedral||c. 1208 – 1224||(Diocese of Moray) The see of the Bishop of Moray was translated from Kinneddar to a late 12th-century church here c. 1208. Bishops Richard (1187-1203) and Bricius (1203-1222) are buried here. Bishop Andrew (1223-1242), with the consent of Pope Honorius, had the see translated to Elgin in 1224. The former cathedral remained a parish church until c. 1735, when a new kirk was erected in the same parish, at New Spynie (or Quarrywood). Some stonework was reused in the new building, though much of the old church must have remained in situ, as a gable was reported falling from it in 1850. By 1962 only a slight mound in its graveyard marked the location of the former cathedral, the foundations of which had been measured at about 74 feet by 35 feet (22.2m x 10.5m). The site lies c. 500 m across a field SSW from the ruined Spynie Palace, a residence of the bishops of Moray from the late 12th century to 1689 (with some interruptions after 1560). The Palace ruins are in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Thurso, (Caithness), Highland||Old St Peter's Kirk||This ruinous parish kirk may have begun as a mainland outpost for the Norse bishopric of Orkney, as architectural evidence points to an early 12th century origin. With the founding of a separate Diocese of Caithness in c. 1150, "it may have acted as a proto-cathedral for the diocese", where the term proto-cathedral refers to a church used by a bishop before a settled cathedral (or pro-cathedral) has been designated. Records show further episcopal use of St Peter's as "throughout much of the 17th century the Diocesan Synod met alternately at Dornoch and Thurso", the 13th-century Dornoch Cathedral having been rendered ruinous in 1570. With the end of episcopacy in 1689, St Peter's became simply the parish kirk for Thurso. By 1828 the structure was poor so in 1832 it was abandoned in favour of a new kirk built nearer the centre of the town. The site is owned by the Highland Council. Access is not normally possible.|
|Whithorn, (Wigtownshire), Dumfries and Galloway||The Candida Casa, dedicated to St Martin of Tours||5th century – early 9th century||The Candida Casa ("White House") was the name given to the small stone church which by tradition was built c. 397 by the local Briton, St Ninian. The stone used was probably white-washed, and the name became attached to the locality (Whithorn). The church developed into a cathedral and monastery, before coming under the control of Northumbria in 731. Its list of bishops ended early in the 9th century when Northumbrian control (and protection) ceased. Excavations at the site 1984-1996 have found the location of Casa Candida, just beyond and south east of the boundary wall of the Priory site. A series of markers have been placed tracing the outline of the cathedral as it was c. 730. The Priory site is in the care of Historic Scotland.|
|Whithorn, (Wigtownshire), Dumfries and Galloway||Cathedral of St Martin of Tours and St Ninian||c. 1130 – 1690||(Diocese of Galloway) The see of Whithorn was refounded 1128 within the English province of York (until 1472; then in the Archdiocese of Glasgow). It became a Premonstratensian cathedral priory in 1177. After 1560 parts of the 12th-century cathedral fell into disrepair. From 1690 the nave (only) became the parish kirk. In the early 18th century the main tower collapsed. In 1822 a new parish kirk was built nearby (dedicated to St Ninian) and much of the old monastic site was cleared for use as a burial ground. There remains, however, the roofless nave of the cathedral, and the crypt, in the care of Historic Scotland.|
Church of Scotland
During and after the Scottish Reformation (1560) cathedrals were increasingly neglected and abandoned, but episcopacy continued to be supported by Stuart Kings.
|Edinburgh, (Midlothian), Lothian||St Giles' Cathedral||1633–1638 and 1661–1689||(Diocese of Edinburgh, created 1633 from part of the Archdiocese of St Andrews) Dating from the 12th century and much enlarged over the following centuries (collegiate from 1468), St Giles' was elevated to cathedral status in 1633 by King Charles I for his Scottish coronation. It became the seat of the Bishop of Edinburgh until 1638, when the Scottish church abolished episcopacy. Following the Bishops' Wars and the English Civil War, restoration of the monarchy in 1660 brought the uneasy return of bishops, until 1689. The complex building was greatly simplified by a major rebuilding of 1829-1833, though early internal features remain. It contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle. St Giles' is formally the High Kirk of Edinburgh.||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Iona, Argyll and Bute||St Mary's Cathedral||1630s-1638 and 1661-1689||(Diocese of the Isles) Though an ancient place of Christian worship, started by St Columba and fellow Irish missionaries in the 7th century, it only became a cathedral for the Bishop of the Isles under Charles I following a brief period of preparation as a collegiate church. The building fell into disrepair during the 18th and 19th centuries, but was rescued and rebuilt by the Iona Community in the 20th century.|
Post-Reformation Roman Catholic Cathedrals
|Dumfries, (Dumfriesshire), Dumfries and Galloway||St Andrew's Cathedral||1878–1961||Built in 1815 and became a cathedral with the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy in 1878 for the Diocese of Galloway. On 10 May 1961, it burnt down, the cathedral was translated to Ayr and a new church was built in its place over the original crypt of the old cathedral.|
|Ayr, South Ayrshire||Good Shepherd Cathedral||1957–2007||In 1961, after the original cathedral in Dumfries burnt down, this 1957 parish church became the cathedral of the Diocese of Galloway. Owing to falling attendance, it closed in 2007 and the see was translated to St Margaret's, Ayr. In 2010, work was undertaken to convert the former church into flats. It is a category C listed building.|
The dioceses of the Welsh church, certainly from Norman times, were, sometimes reluctantly, part of the English church in the Province of Canterbury. This situation continued after the establishment of the Church of England at the Reformation until 1920, when the Church in Wales was disestablished and became a self-governing member of the Anglican Communion.
|Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire||St Peter's Church||proposed||In 1536 William Barlow, newly appointed Bishop of St David's, proposed to move the see to Carmarthen, at the time still the most important town in Wales. It then had just one parish church, 12th-century St Peter's, which is still (2015) the largest parish church in Wales. Had the opposition of the Chapter of St David's Cathedral not defeated the proposal by 1539, St Peter's might have been raised to cathedral status. As of 2015, the church is in some danger of closure. The nave and chancel date from the 14th century, the tower from the 15th and 16th.|
|Denbigh, Denbighshire||St David's Church||proposed||Generally known as Leicester's Church, this was begun in 1578 by Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, to supersede the nearby St Hilary's Chapel as the principal church for Denbigh (the parish church of Saint Marcella being some distance from the town). Tradition holds that St David's, planned as a large preaching hall (with a 'Gothic' exterior), was intended to replace St Asaph Cathedral, but lack of funds caused building to stop in 1584. The remaining ruin, in the care of Cadw, lies just below the walls of the (ruined) Denbigh Castle. There is no access to the interior of the church.|
|Llanbadarn Fawr, Ceredigion||St Padarn's Church||6th century? and proposed||Supposedly founded c. 515 by Saint Padarn, this Celtic clas church became a priory c.1116, then a collegiate church (c. 1136 – c.1360). The 1920 disestablishment of the Church in Wales led to thoughts of cathedral status owing to the great size of the Diocese of St David's, but different arrangements ensued. St Padarn's remains a large parish church, near Aberystwyth. A Celtic cross-shaft now in the south transept shows a bishop, probably St Padarn.|
|Rhuddlan, Denbighshire||not known||proposed||In 1281 King Edward I and Anian II, Bishop of St Asaph, petitioned the Pope in Rome to approve the transfer of the see of St Asaph to a new, larger, fortified town being built (for English settlers) at Rhuddlan, due to the claimed remoteness and danger of St Asaph (Welsh Language: Llanelwy) itself. But a Welsh rising in 1282 and further territorial gains by the English led to the abandonment of the proposal by 1283. The intended site of the cathedral in Rhuddlan was probably used for the construction of the new parish church, St Mary's, in c.1300 (shown).|
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