Scheduled Monument

Elgin CathedralSM90142

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; cathedral
Local Authority
NJ 22192 63048
322192, 863048


The monument consists of the surviving portions of Elgin Cathedral, its ancillary buildings, graveyard, boundary wall and gates

The remains consist of a nave with double aisles and N and S porches; twin western towers having a superb portal and window between them; transepts above which rose a great central tower (which collapsed in 1711); a choir with aisles and presbytery; and a detatched octagonal chapter-house, rebuilt in the 15th century.

The cathedral was founded in 1224 and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Much of the remaining work is from that century; but in 1390 the cathedral was burnt by Alexander, earl of Buchan, also known as the "Wolf of Badenoch", and the ruins show traces of extensive early 15th-century rebuilding.

In the surviving ruins and in the detached fragments assembled on the site there is a wealth of moulded work, heraldic decoration, and figure sculpture; preserved in the nave is a standing cross-slab with Pictish symbols, which formerly stood in St Giles's kirkyard in Elgin.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains of the cathedral and chapter-house, the cathedral lodge, and the graveyard surrounding the cathedral up to and including the boundary wall and gates: an area measuring some 130m E-W by 90m N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map.



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Elgin Cathedral

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Related Designations


    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 02/12/2022 10:28