Dunblane Cathedral is a beautiful medieval church in Dunblane which dates as far back as the 12th century.
Dunblane Cathedral is in a Level 4 COVID protection area, and is currently closed to visitors. Find out more about our COVID response.
Dunblane Cathedral receives high but well earned praise for a building smaller than some English parish churches, lacking the architectural flourishes and cohesion of most other cathedrals; and one which only narrowly survived the threat of demolition to make way for the railway.
The tower is from the late 11th century, offset, and slightly squint on the south. Admire the Romanesque arched windows in the lower storeys, the upper stage and parapet which date from 1500, bearing the arms of Bishop Chisholm, which may originally have been freestanding.
The Nave, dating back to 1240 is possibly the finest part of the cathedral. It is eight bays long, tall and narrow, with aisles and a galleried clerestory. Its principal attraction is its simple proportions, clustered shafts, and graceful clerestory windows in the west wall.
The beautifully vaulted lower storey, often called the Lady Chapel, was probably used as a chapter house. The exterior of the cathedral is, with the exception of the west front and the tower, simply an expression of its interior. The west front, squeezed between two hefty, asymmetrical buttresses is the composition so admired by John Ruskin and consists of three stages tapering toward a slender apex. The thickened ground floor is given over to the magnificent west door and its flanking pointed arches. It is a peculiarity of this cathedral that its principal processional doorway faces the riverside, thus making impossible the grand views and aspect of the west front normally available in others.
Very occasionally the property has to close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions or other reasons out with our control. Please check the Historic Scotland closures page for any unexpected site closures https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/check-for-closures/. You can also follow closure tweets from @welovehistory using #hsclosure. Alternatively please call the site before setting off to check they are open.