List of former cathedrals in the United Kingdom

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This is a list of former or intended cathedrals in the United Kingdom.


References are to the English church's current use or its use prior to deconsecration.

Cathedrals founded before 1066[edit]

becoming Church of England at the Reformation

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Bodmin, Cornwall St Petroc's Church, Bodmin - - 51028.jpg Parish Church of St Petroc c.833–c.870[1] Despite traditional claims of a monastery here founded in the 6th century by Saint Petroc from Padstow, the first evidence of a monastery at what is now Bodmin concerns the place Dinuurrin (or Dinnurrin). This name derives from an early hermit, Uuron (or St Guron).[2] The cathedral of the 9th-century Bishop Kenstec was at the monastery at Dinuurrin, which seems later to have been called Bodmin (meaning "dwelling by the sanctuary").[3] The cult of Saint Petroc spread from Padstow, especially after the Viking raid there in 981 led the monks to move to Bodmin, bringing Petroc's relics. Kenstec declared his loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, showing that Cornwall was becoming (in effect) an English Diocese. (After Kenstec the see moved close to the border of Cornwall at St Germans). The (mostly) mid-15th-century parish church of Saint Petroc 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 houses Petroc's (empty) 12th-century[4] reliquary. 50°28′17″N 4°43′00″W / 50.4714°N 4.7168°W / 50.4714; -4.7168
Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex St Peter-on-the-Wall ext.jpg Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall 654–664 After the failure of the first Christian mission to the East Saxons, from London c.610, St Cedd was sent by sea from Celtic-rite Northumbria in 654. He chose as his base the former Roman fort of Orthona, near Bradwell-on-Sea. A stone cathedral[5] was built, of Roman materials, but St Cedd died of plague 664 at Lastingham, North Yorkshire, together with most of his Essex community. A third mission c.675, from London (which became the see for Essex) succeeded. After centuries of use as a barn, the original church was restored 1920, and has been a chapel for the Orthona Community since 1946. Described as a Saxon cathedral in the guide book.[6] Oddly, the chapel was built on the edge of the Roman foundations, across a wall, rather than more centrally. It has therefore been suggested that the surviving structure may not have been the only church built here, nor the main one. Always open (no toilets), access by footpath only (c.15 mins walk) from car park.[7] 51°44′07″N 0°56′24″E / 51.735323°N 0.939876°E / 51.735323; 0.939876
Canterbury, Kent Canterbury St Martin close.jpg St Martin's Church 597–602 Oldest church in continuous use in Britain. It dates from the Roman occupation of Britain (so before 410). Described as "old" when St Augustine landed in Kent 596, it became his pro-cathedral[8] while his main cathedral was being built nearby on the site now occupied by Canterbury Cathedral. St Martin's has been a parish church ever since. 51°16′41″N 1°05′38″E / 51.277989°N 1.093825°E / 51.277989; 1.093825
Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham St Mary and St Cuthbert.jpg Collegiate Church of St Mary and St Cuthbert 883–995 Leaving Lindisfarne in 875 after Viking and Danish raids, the monastic community, with the body of St Cuthbert, journeyed until they were granted land here 883. This became the see of the Bishop of Lindisfarne, translated to Durham 995. Wooden former cathedral replaced 1054 by a stone church, collegiate 1286-1547. Now a parish church. 54°51′21″N 1°34′19″W / 54.855944°N 1.571972°W / 54.855944; -1.571972
Crediton, Devon Holycrosscrediton.jpg Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him Who Hung Thereon 909–1050 Land was granted in the 8th century for a monastery at Crediton. The see of Crediton (for Devon & Cornwall) was created 909 out of the diocese of Sherborne, translated to Exeter 1050. The Anglo-Saxon monastic cathedral of St Mary (likely wooden) was replaced in the 11th century by a new collegiate church, with new dedication from the 1230s, dissolved 1545. Church bought 1547 by parishioners as parish church. Study of the existing church site has concluded that the cathedral occupied the same site. 50°47′22.70″N 3°39′8.21″W / 50.7896389°N 3.6522806°W / 50.7896389; -3.6522806[9]
Dommoc, Suffolk 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 almost entirely under the sea, or (2) the old Roman fort of Walton, Suffolk off the coast at Felixstowe. The latter location seems the more likely, its name being derived from Felix stowe (= Felix's holy place),[10] so co-ordinates are given here for the visible (only at exceptionally low tides) offshore masonry remains of the Roman fort of Walton. The diocese was split c.673, and an additional see created at North Elmham. The list of Bishops of Dommoc continued until Danish invasions c.850. As both suggested sites are lost to coastal erosion, no accessible remains exist. 51°58′22″N 1°22′48″E / 51.97280°N 1.380110°E / 51.97280; 1.380110
Dorchester on Thames, Oxfordshire DorchesterAbbey.JPG Abbey Church of St Peter & St Paul 635–c.660 and c.875–1072 First West Saxon see c.635, translated to Winchester c.660. Later became a Mercian bishopric c.875 when the Mercian see of Leicester was transferred here for safety. See translated to Lincoln 1072. Secular canons 635-1140. Augustinian Priory 1140, dissolved 1536. The church was then bought by a benefactor, and serves as the parish church. Some 11th century traces. 51°38′37″N 1°09′51″W / 51.643631°N 1.164202°W / 51.643631; -1.164202
Hexham, Northumberland Hexham Abbey.jpg Priory and Parish Church of St. Andrew 678–c.821 Monastery founded c.674 by Wilfrid, became cathedral 678, destroyed in 9th-century Viking raids. Augustinian priory from 1113 to dissolution in 1537. Chancel saved as parish church, new nave added later. Some Saxon remains in present structure, notably the original crypt. 54°58′17″N 2°06′10″W / 54.971494°N 2.102787°W / 54.971494; -2.102787[11]
Hoxne, Suffolk St Peter & St Paul's church c.950–c.1070 In the early 10th century, after the period of Danish attacks, Bishop Theodred of London had an additional see at Hoxne, with a cathedral dedicated to St Aethelberht; by 1040 Hoxne had become a joint see with North Elmham; see translated to Thetford 1072. In 1101 the former cathedral (by then the Church of St Peter) was given by Hoxne Priory to the new Norwich Cathedral; this Church of St Peter is thought to have become the parish church of St Peter & St Paul. Hoxne Priory was located 0.7 miles / 1.1 km (approx) south of the parish church. 52°21′08″N 1°12′06″E / 52.352192°N 1.201719°E / 52.352192; 1.201719[12]
Leicester, Leicestershire Jewry Wall and St Nicholas.jpg 679–874 Location not known with certainty, but very likely St Nicholas' church (shown) with Saxon origins in 9th and probably 7th centuries and Roman materials incorporated (between sites of Roman baths and forum). After being overrun by Danes c.875 the Anglo-Saxon see was suppressed and merged with Dorchester. St Nicholas' now a parish church, with map co-ordinates as stated.[13] 52°38′07″N 1°08′27″W / 52.635147°N 1.140914°W / 52.635147; -1.140914
Lindisfarne, Northumberland Lindisfarne Abbey and St Marys.JPG 635–875 Celtic monastery founded 635 by King Oswald for Aidan from Iona as cathedral for northern part of Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Following several Viking raids from 793 the monastery was finally destroyed 875. Monastic community fled, settling at Chester-Le-Street in 883 which then became the cathedral. See translated to, and diocese renamed for, Durham in 995. Benedictine priory established by Durham Cathedral priory 1083, dissolved 1537. Extensive remains of Norman (and later) priory in hands of English Heritage. Exact location of Aidan's cathedral (originally wooden) is not known for certain, but it is confidently claimed that Anglo-Saxon features in parish church of St Mary (shown) adjacent to priory ruins are from the rebuilt-in-stone cathedral; so co-ordinates given are for the parish church. 55°40′10″N 1°48′07″W / 55.669389°N 1.801922°W / 55.669389; -1.801922
North Elmham, Norfolk NorthElmhamChapel.jpg 673–1070 See of Elmham created c.673 when the East Anglian diocese, with its see at Dommoc, was split. The episcopal succession of bishops of Elmham was interrupted between c.850 and c.950, when the region was subject to Viking incursions. Restored see translated to Thetford 1070. Church remains, in the hands of English Heritage, are held to date from c.1100, the earlier cathedral having probably been a wooden building. 52°45′20″N 0°56′41″E / 52.755532°N 0.944712°E / 52.755532; 0.944712
Padstow, Cornwall St Petroc's Church, Padstow 518–564? Tradition claims 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 there. Petroc named the monastery Lanwethinoc[14] and its church became Petroc's cathedral for Cornwall.[15] He died there c.564. After a final Viking attack razed the monastery in 981, the monks moved to Bodmin, taking his relics. The parish church of St Petroc is mostly 15th-century and later, but is believed to occupy the original monastic site. 50°32′29″N 4°56′34″W / 50.541269°N 4.942856°W / 50.541269; -4.942856
Ramsbury, Wiltshire 909–1058 Diocese of Wiltshire created 909 out of see of Sherborne, reunited to Sherborne 1058. Site now occupied by newer church. 51°26′31″N 1°36′22″W / 51.442°N 1.606°W / 51.442; -1.606[16]
Repton, Derbyshire c.655–669 Early double monastery (monks + nuns) of Celtic origin provided supposed original see for Mercia, moved by St Chad to Lichfield when he became bishop in 669. Later razed by Danes but site re-used by Augustinian priory of 1153, dissolved 1538. Traces of priory in Repton School (1559). Adjacent St. Wystan's Church, Repton has Saxon crypt, with Mercian royal burials, but is held to be of later date than cathedral. Co-ordinates are for Repton School. 52°50′29″N 1°33′04″W / 52.8413°N 1.551°W / 52.8413; -1.551
St Germans, Cornwall St Germans Church 1.jpg Priory Church of St Germanus early 10th century–c.1027 King Athelstan (of England - indicating Cornwall's loss of autonomy) appointed Conan as Bishop of Cornwall in 936, with his see at St Germans. Some earlier bishops of Cornwall (after Kenstec at Bodmin) probably also had moved their see to St Germans. Lyfing, already Bishop of Crediton, followed his uncle as Bishop of Cornwall c.1027, uniting the two sees at Crediton. The former cathedral of St Germans became collegiate c.1050, an Augustinian priory c.1184, dissolved 1539. The existing parish church preserves some of the Norman and later fabric. 50°23′48″N 4°18′35″W / 50.396686°N 4.309699°W / 50.396686; -4.309699
Selsey, Sussex Selseycathedral.jpg Selsey Abbey c.680-1080 See moved to Chichester after Council of London (1075). Original site not known for sure, but thought to be either at St Wilfrid's Chapel, Church Norton or under the sea.[17][18][19] 50°45′18″N 0°45′55″W / 50.754907°N 0.765173°W / 50.754907; -0.765173
Sherborne, Dorset Sherborne abbey.jpg Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin 705–1075 See created 705 for western part of Wessex, until then part of see of Winchester. In 909 diocese of Sherborne was limited to Dorset by creation of separate dioceses for Devon and Cornwall (at Crediton), Wiltshire (at Ramsbury), and Somerset (at Wells). See of Ramsbury was reunited with Sherborne 1058. See translated to Old Sarum 1075. Sherborne became a Benedictine priory c.993, an abbey 1122, dissolved 1539. Abbey church bought by townspeople to be the parish church. Sherborne School incorporates some abbey buildings. 50°56′48″N 2°31′00″W / 50.946693°N 2.516667°W / 50.946693; -2.516667
Soham, Cambridgeshire c.900–c.950 Tradition has a monastery founded here by Felix of Burgundy c.630, which may have had an early cathedral for East Anglia, soon translated to Dommoc. Monastery destroyed by Danes c.870. New monastery said to have been built c.900 may have served as a cathedral at that time, when sees of both Dommoc and North Elmham had ceased to function. Traces remain in St Andrew's parish church at co-ordinates stated.[20][21] 52°20′01″N 0°20′13″E / 52.333478°N 0.336942°E / 52.333478; 0.336942
Stow, Lincolnshire St.Mary's church, Stow, Lincs. - - 48135.jpg Minster Church of St Mary c.680–c.875 The large Mercian diocese established by Chad at Lichfield was divided 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. Now a parish church. 53°19′39″N 0°40′38″W / 53.32750°N 0.67722°W / 53.32750; -0.67722[22]

Cathedrals founded (or proposed) between 1066 and 1539[edit]

becoming Church of England at the Reformation

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Bath, Somerset Bath Abbey Exterior, Somerset, UK - Diliff.jpg Priory Church of St Peter & St Paul 1090–1539 Founded c.676 for nuns, replaced c.758 by monks, but abbey later destroyed by Danes. Refounded c.963 (Benedictine from c.980) but destroyed 1087. Rebuilt 1088, the see for Somerset was translated from Wells to Bath 1090 and it then became a cathedral priory. Bath cathedral became joint with Glastonbury 1195, but this arrangement ended 1218. Co-cathedral with Wells from 1245. Wells increasingly favoured by subsequent bishops, and Bath neglected. Bath priory dissolved 1539, site sold, buildings partially demolished. Church given as parish church 1572. 51°22′53″N 2°21′32″W / 51.381458°N 2.358775°W / 51.381458; -2.358775[23]
Chester, Cheshire St John's Church, Chester.jpg Collegiate Church of St John the Baptist 1075–1095 Collegiate church c.1057– c.1547. See translated from Lichfield 1075, translated to Coventry 1095. Currently a parish church. 53°11′20″N 2°53′09″W / 53.189013°N 2.885706°W / 53.189013; -2.885706[24]
Coventry, West Midlands WTC lee cleeton PrioryRuins4.JPG Cathedral Priory of St Mary, St Peter and St Osburga[25][26] 1095–1539 Benedictine abbey 1043 on site of former Saxon nunnery founded by St Osburga. See of Lichfield, translated to Chester 1075, moved to Coventry 1095 (abbey became a cathedral priory 1102 when translation from Chester approved by pope), new cathedral completed c.1250. Until 1539, when priory was dissolved, diocese of Coventry & Lichfield had two cathedrals. Local funds inadequate to save church, so it was sold for demolition 1545. Significant remains have been located and preserved. 52°24′32″N 1°30′31″W / 52.4089°N 1.5085°W / 52.4089; -1.5085
Glastonbury, Somerset GlastonburyAbbey Somerset.JPG Glastonbury Abbey 1195–1218 Monastery supposedly founded 6th century;[27] Benedictine from 940. In 1195 Bishop of Bath was made (additionally) Abbot of Glastonbury styling himself Bishop of Bath & Glastonbury. This title persisted, opposed by the monks of Glastonbury, until 1218 when the Pope found for them and the title reverted.[28] The Abbey was dissolved 1539, and the site sold. The site with extensive remains is now in hands of the Church of England. 51°08′44″N 2°42′55″W / 51.145648°N 2.715318°W / 51.145648; -2.715318
Old Sarum, Wiltshire SarumCathedral.JPG Old Sarum Cathedral 1075–1219 An Iron Age hillfort, later used by Romans and Saxons. The Normans built a surrounding wall, a castle and a cathedral, and moved the see here from Sherborne in 1075. Cathedral demolished and see translated to Salisbury (New Sarum), 2 miles south, in 1219. Old Sarum site now in hands of English Heritage with extensive remains. 51°05′39″N 1°48′23″W / 51.094278°N 1.806403°W / 51.094278; -1.806403
Thetford, Norfolk 1072–1094 See for East Anglia translated from North Elmham 1072; to Norwich 1094. Location not known for certain, but believed to be in vicinity of Thetford Grammar School which incorporates remains of 13th century Dominican friary that may have reused the site of the earlier cathedral. Brief 1998 archaeological excavation at the school produced a few masonry finds tentatively dated to 11th or 12th century, but also speculation that the cathedral may have been wooden. Co-ordinates are for the school. 52°24′49″N 0°44′40″E / 52.413527°N 0.744477°E / 52.413527; 0.744477
Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire 061203 ukbris wotch 01.jpg Collegiate Church of The Holy Trinity proposed Minster church c.795, re-founded as Benedictine priory by Bishop Oswald of Worcester c.964. Monastic community moved to start Ramsey Abbey, Huntingdonshire 972, leaving buildings to decay. Re-founded as monastery by Bishop of Worcester c.1093, collegiate from c.1194. From 1286 Bishop Gifford of Worcester planned to establish Westbury as a second cathedral for diocese, but he died 1301. A similar plan by Bishop Carpenter 1455 led to enlargement of college, its dedication changing 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. College dissolved 1544, becoming a parish church. No remains earlier than 1194. 51°29′38″N 2°36′58″W / 51.49395°N 2.616°W / 51.49395; -2.616

Cathedrals founded (or proposed) from 1540 to the present[edit]

Church of England from their foundation

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Aldfield, North Yorkshire Fountains Abbey crop, Yorkshire, UK - Diliff.jpg Abbey Church of St Mary proposed Known as Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian house of 1132, dissolved 1539. 1540 Henry VIII proposed abbey church as cathedral for a new Dales bishopric. Site sold October 1540, extensive remains now in hands of National Trust. 54°06′36″N 1°34′53″W / 54.109874°N 1.581312°W / 54.109874; -1.581312[29]
Bodmin, Cornwall Priory Church of St Mary & St Petroc proposed Augustinian priory c.1120, dissolved 1538. Priory church proposed 1540 by Henry VIII as cathedral for Cornwall but not saved. Some foundations visible and stone fragments by Priory House (offices), at co-ordinates given, a short distance east of the parish church of St Petroc. 50°28′15″N 4°42′56″W / 50.470889°N 4.715556°W / 50.470889; -4.715556
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Abbey Ruins WM.jpg Abbey Church of St Mary & St Edmund proposed Church since c.633, remains of St Edmund, martyred (supposedly at Hoxne) 870 brought here 903. Church became collegiate c.925. Benedictine abbey 1020, dissolved 1539. Henry VIII proposed abbey church as Suffolk cathedral 1540, but site sold and robbed of building materials. Ruins (shown) in hands of National Trust. 52°14′39″N 0°43′09″E / 52.2441°N 0.7192°E / 52.2441; 0.7192
Colchester, Essex StJohn'sAbbeyGatehouse Colchester.jpg Abbey Church of St John the Baptist proposed Benedictine house founded 1096, dissolved 1539. Abbey church among Henry VIII's 1540 cathedral proposals, possibly as alternative to Waltham Abbey, Essex. Neither proposal enacted. Only 15th-century abbey gatehouse (shown) central in north perimeter wall remains (in hands of English Heritage), other buildings believed destroyed in Civil War siege 1648. Site in military use since the mid-1800s. 51°53′08″N 0°54′05″E / 51.885544°N 0.901297°E / 51.885544; 0.901297
Coventry, West Midlands Coventry Cathedral Ruins with Rainbow edit.jpg St Michael's Cathedral 1918–1940 Once a very large mediaeval parish church, dating from c.1300. Collegiate from 1908, cathedral from 1918 when modern diocese of Coventry created. Largely destroyed in wartime bombing 1940. New cathedral (also St Michael) built 1951-1962 adjoining ruins. Extensive remains include 14th-century tower with 15th-century spire. 52°24′29″N 1°30′27″W / 52.407955°N 1.507385°W / 52.407955; -1.507385
Dunstable, Bedfordshire Dunstable, the Priory - - 2937.jpg Priory Church of St Peter proposed Augustinian house founded by 1125. Dissolved 1540, priory church proposed by Henry VIII 1540 as cathedral for Bedfordshire. Instead, nave became a parish church. 51°53′10″N 0°31′03″W / 51.886°N 0.5176°W / 51.886; -0.5176
Guildford, Surrey HolyTrinityGuildford.jpg Holy Trinity Church 1927–1961 Current parish church completed 1763 replacing earlier mediaeval, possibly Norman, church destroyed 1740 by collapse of steeple. Only the Weston Chapel (c.1540) remains from the earlier building. Acted as pro-cathedral from the creation of the new Diocese of Guildford in 1927 until the dedication of the new Guildford Cathedral 1961. 51°14′09″N 0°34′15″W / 51.235929°N 0.570753°W / 51.235929; -0.570753[30]
Guisborough, Yorkshire Gisborough priory snow portrait.jpg Priory Church of St Mary proposed Augustinian house founded 1119, dissolved 1540. Among Henry VIII's 1540 proposals for new cathedrals, but instead buildings largely demolished. Remains (shown) in hands of English Heritage. (Town name is Guisborough, but priory name Gisborough is correct). 54°32′09″N 1°02′56″W / 54.535833°N 1.048889°W / 54.535833; -1.048889
Launceston, Cornwall Priory Church of St Stephen proposed Augustinian priory founded 1127 on a c.830 church site at St Stephens N of town. In 1155 priory moved to new site S of the R Kersey closer to the town. Dissolved 1539, priory church proposed by Henry VIII in 1540 as cathedral for Cornwall but not enacted. Some remains near St Thomas the Apostle church, Riverside, Launceston. 50°38′11″N 4°21′20″W / 50.636472°N 4.355417°W / 50.636472; -4.355417
Leicester, Leicestershire Leicester Abbey nave and cloister.jpg Abbey Church of St Mary de Pratis (St Mary of the Meadows) proposed Augustinian house 1143. Cardinal Wolsey died here 1530. Dissolved 1538, abbey church proposed 1540 by Henry VIII as cathedral but site sold. Remains in (public) Abbey Park of perimeter walls plus conjectured foundations. 52°38′55″N 1°08′13″W / 52.648683°N 1.136856°W / 52.648683; -1.136856
Osney, Oxfordshire Osney cathedral.jpg Abbey Church of St Mary 1542–1545 Augustinian priory founded 1129, raised to abbey status c.1154, dissolved 1539. Under 1540 proposals of Henry VIII church became cathedral for Oxfordshire 1542, but closed 1545 and see translated to Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford 1546. Few remains. 51°44′59″N 1°16′12″W / 51.74972°N 1.27000°W / 51.74972; -1.27000[31]
St Albans, Hertfordshire St-albans-cath.jpg Abbey Church of St Alban proposed Benedictine abbey founded 793, dissolved 1539. Henry VIII proposed abbey church as Hertfordshire's cathedral 1540, but instead it was sold 1553 to the townspeople to become the parish church. (Remained so until 1877 when it became a cathedral.) 51°45′01″N 0°20′32″W / 51.750278°N 0.342222°W / 51.750278; -0.342222
Shrewsbury, Shropshire ShrewsburyAbbey.JPG Abbey Church of St Peter & St Paul proposed Benedictine abbey founded 1083 on site of former Anglo-Saxon church of St Peter, dissolved 1539. Abbey church proposed 1540 as cathedral for Shropshire by Henry VIII. Instead nave retained as church for Parish of the Holy Cross. 1922 proposal for cathedral status rejected by one vote in House of Lords 1926.[32] 52°42′27″N 2°44′38″W / 52.7076°N 2.7438°W / 52.7076; -2.7438
Southend-on-Sea, Essex St Erkenwald's Church proposed? Very large church built 1905-1910, anecdotally considered by some in the early 20th century as a candidate for elevation to cathedral status. Fell into disrepair, declared redundant 1978. Demolished 1995 after severe fire.[33] 51°32′12″N 0°43′27″E / 51.536796°N 0.724218°E / 51.536796; 0.724218
Southwell, Nottinghamshire Southwell minster1.jpg Collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary proposed Minster church founded c.956, becoming collegiate shortly after. College dissolved 1540 in plan by Henry VIII that year to create cathedral for Nottinghamshire (possible alternative to Welbeck) but instead reconstituted by Parliament 1543. Collegiate status removed 1548, reinstated 1557, finally dissolved 1841. (Church raised to cathedral rank 1884.) 53°04′36″N 0°57′14″W / 53.076667°N 0.953889°W / 53.076667; -0.953889
Waltham Abbey, Essex WalthamAbbey.JPG Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross & St Lawrence proposed Minster church on this site c.610 but abandoned 617; re-established mid-8th C. Enlarged c.1060, supposedly by King Harold II, who some legends say was buried here after his defeat by William I in 1066. Became an Augustinian priory 1177, an abbey 1184, dissolved 1540. Proposed 1540 as a cathedral by Henry VIII without success, but nave saved as parish church. A Royal Peculiar 1184-1865. 51°41′15″N 0°00′13″W / 51.6875°N 0.0035°W / 51.6875; -0.0035[34]
Welbeck, Nottinghamshire Abbey Church of St James the Great proposed Premonstratensian abbey 1140, dissolved 1538. Proposed 1540 by Henry VIII as cathedral for Nottinghamshire - also Southwell considered, but neither enacted. Site (and mansion with traces of former abbey) later owned by Dukes of Portland (leased 1943-2005 as Army college). 53°15′44″N 1°09′22″W / 53.262222°N 1.156111°W / 53.262222; -1.156111
Westminster, London Westminster abbey west.jpg The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster[35] 1540–1550 Anglo-Saxon abbey in the 7th century, destroyed by Danes in the 9th century. Refounded c.959. Abbey suppressed 1540 but immediately became one of Henry VIII's new cathedrals. Cathedral status removed 1550. Re-established as Benedictine monastery by Mary I 1556, but dissolved 1559 becoming collegiate church 1560. A Royal Peculiar. 51°29′58″N 0°07′39″W / 51.499457°N 0.127518°W / 51.499457; -0.127518

Post-Reformation Roman Catholic Cathedrals[edit]

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Clifton, Bristol Clifton Pro-Cathedral.JPG Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Apostles 1850–1973 Roman Catholic pro-cathedral replaced by Clifton Cathedral
Now closed
51°27′23″N 2°36′35″W / 51.456297°N 2.609720°W / 51.456297; -2.609720
Hereford, Herefordshire Belmont Abbey, Hereford.JPG Abbey Church of St Michael and All Angels 1854–1920 The Diocese of Newport and Menevia was created in 1850 with no official seat. Construction of a church on Belmont Abbey's site bgan in 1854. It was agreed that it would be the pro-cathedral while it was under construction.[36] It became a Benedictine priory in 1859 and was consecrated in 1860. The see was translated to St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Cardiff in 1920. It is now Belmont Abbey. 52°02′22″N 2°45′23″W / 52.03932°N 2.756412°W / 52.03932; -2.756412 (Belmont Abbey)[37]
Kensington, London Our Lady of Victories RC Church - - 908618.jpg Our Lady of Victories Church 1867–1903 It was the pro-cathedral for nearly thirty-six years until Westminster Cathedral in London was opened in 1903 51°29′57″N 0°11′52″W / 51.499038°N 0.197657°W / 51.499038; -0.197657[38]
Liverpool, 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 53°24′25″N 2°58′30″W / 53.407°N 2.975°W / 53.407; -2.975[39]
Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Apostles 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. 54°34′48″N 1°14′13″W / 54.580127°N 1.236844°W / 54.580127; -1.236844
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 the 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.[40] 50°22′13″N 4°09′33″W / 50.3703°N 4.1593°W / 50.3703; -4.1593 (St Mary's Church, Plymouth)
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.[41] 50°53′57″N 1°24′21″W / 50.899072°N 1.405937°W / 50.899072; -1.405937 (St. Joseph's Church, Southampton)
Southwark, London ArchbishopAmigoJubileeHall FormerPro-Cathedral.JPG 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 51°27′23″N 2°36′35″W / 51.456297°N 2.609720°W / 51.456297; -2.609720 (Archbishop Amigo Jubilee Hall (former pro-cathedral))
York, North Yorkshire St George's Catholic Church - - 866749.jpg 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. 53°57′18″N 1°04′33″W / 53.9550°N 1.0758°W / 53.9550; -1.0758[42]
York, North Yorkshire St Wilfrid's RC Church, York.JPG St Wilfrid's Church 1864–1878 It succeeded St George's as pro-cathedral for the Diocese of Beverley until in 1878 it was split into the Diocese of Leeds and the Diocese of Middlesbrough. 53°57′43″N 1°05′05″W / 53.961900°N 1.084700°W / 53.961900; -1.084700[43]

Isle of Man[edit]

Although the Isle of Man is not in the United Kingdom politically, 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.

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinate
Kirk Michael Bishopscourt IMG 0134.JPG 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. 54°17′59″N 4°39′15″W / 54.299722°N 4.654167°W / 54.299722; -4.654167
Peel St Germans' Cathedral, Peel Castle, Isle of Man.jpg St German's Cathedral, Peel Castle 5th century onwards
12th century–1895
Tradition tells that St Patrick built a cathedral on a small tidal islet off the coast, later called St Patrick's Isle (now accessed by causeway from Peel). Stone-built monastic developments on St Patrick's Isle followed c.900 and a cathedral was re-established by the 13th century for the island's diocese, within fortifications called Peel Castle. The Cathedral of St German (dedicated to St Germanus of Auxerre who had supposedly taught St Patrick) 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. 54°13′34″N 4°41′53″W / 54.226217°N 4.698144°W / 54.226217; -4.698144[44]


Pre-Reformation Cathedrals (or proposed Cathedrals)[edit]

Becoming Church of Scotland at the Scottish Reformation (1560)

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 and therefore no functioning cathedrals. At that point all Scottish cathedrals became former cathedrals. Some still use the title, but for honorific purposes only.

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Abercorn, West Lothian Abercorn Church, West Lothian.JPG 681-685 Monastery 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"[45] i.e. those north of the Forth paying tribute to Northumbria. In 685 he was forced to abandon his see to the Gododdin following the defeat of the Northumbrians by the Picts at the Battle of Nechtansmere.[46] The existing kirk (12th century and later, shown) is on or very close to the monastic site.[47] 55°59′36″N 3°28′24″W / 55.99334°N 3.47326°W / 55.99334; -3.47326[48]
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire St Machar's cathedral with watch house - - 174651.jpg St Machar's Cathedral 1131-1690 Legend tells of a church founded 580 by St Machar in Old Aberdeen. This was superseded in 1131 by a Norman cathedral 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. The ruins outside the High Kirk are cared for by Historic Scotland, and many features of interest remain. 57°10′11″N 2°06′07″W / 57.169700°N 2.102069°W / 57.169700; -2.102069[49]
Abernethy, Perth and Kinross Abernethy mercat cross and round tower, Perth and Kinross.JPG early 8th century-11th century? The village was once a very important political and religious centre for the Picts. The history of a supposed bishopric is obscure. No bishops' names are known for certain, but Fergus may have been one of three here during the early 8th century.[50] Any bishopric moved to Muthill by the 12th century. The original church of St Brigid, said to date from the 6th century, may have been the cathedral. A small Augustinian priory of 1272 likely included Culdees, possibly associated with the 11th-12th century[51] round tower, now cared for by Historic Scotland. The priory, which may have used the ancient church, was suppressed and replaced by lay canons in the 15th century. It was in ruins by 1802, when the current parish kirk of St Brigid was built nearby, the older site then being used as a graveyard. 56°19′59″N 3°18′42″W / 56.333143°N 3.311670°W / 56.333143; -3.311670[52]
Birnie, Elgin Birnie Kirk.jpg St Brendan's Cathedral c.1140–1184 The first bishop of the Diocese of Moray, named Gregory, is recorded c.1120[53] and no doubt he used this church, built c.1140, as his cathedral. The see was moved to Kinneddar after the death of Bishop Simon de Tosny in 1184. The west end was rebuilt c.1734, shortening the building by about two feet (60 cm). The building is still in use as the parish kirk. 57°36′41″N 3°19′48″W / 57.61139°N 3.33000°W / 57.61139; -3.33000[54]
Birsay, Orkney St. Magnus Church.JPG Christ's Church mid-11th century-1137 It has been claimed that the original church here was built by Earl Thorfinn c.1060, and used by several early Bishops of Orkney. Its exact location is disputed, some claiming it was not at Birsay on the mainland but on the Brough of Birsay, a tidal island just offshore.[51] The balance of evidence favours a mainland location close to the ruined palace of the 16th century Stewart Earls of Orkney at Birsay.[55] The much-rebuilt St Magnus' church is almost certainly where Thorfinn's church, named Christ's Church or Christchurch, stood. There is also evidence of a bishop's residence nearby. 59°07′46″N 3°18′59″W / 59.129444°N 3.316389°W / 59.129444; -3.316389
Brechin, Angus Brechin, Cathedral and Round Tower.jpg Holy Trinity Cathedral ante 1150 On the site of a former Culdee monastery 56°43′50″N 2°39′44″W / 56.730694°N 2.662125°W / 56.730694; -2.662125
Dornoch, Sutherland Dornoch Cathedral.jpg St Mary's Cathedral 1239?- Diocese of Caithness 57°52′51″N 4°01′51″W / 57.880729°N 4.030695°W / 57.880729; -4.030695[56]
Dunblane, Stirling Dunblane Cathedral.jpg St Blane's Cathedral 1155 Diocese of Dunblane 56°11′22″N 3°57′54″W / 56.189550°N 3.964949°W / 56.189550; -3.964949[57]
Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross Dunkeld Cathedral.jpg St Columba's Cathedral 9th century
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,[58] 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. 56°33′54″N 3°35′23″W / 56.56500°N 3.58972°W / 56.56500; -3.58972
Edinburgh, Lothian St. Giles' Cathedral front.jpg St Giles's Cathedral 1635–1638 and 1661–1689 Seat of the Bishop of Edinburgh 55°56′58″N 3°11′27″W / 55.949524°N 3.190928°W / 55.949524; -3.190928[59]
Egilsay, Orkney St. Magnus Church, Egilsay - - 1434978.jpg St. Magnus Church There is no firm evidence that this island church was a cathedral, but "it may have been regarded as a bishop's church".[60] The present ruined mid-12th century church commemorates the killing there 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,[61] its site probably reused for this church. His body was buried on Egilsay, but then reburied at Birsay. Unused since the early 19th century, the church is unroofed with its round tower (unique in Orkney) reduced in height, in the care of Historic Scotland. 59°09′25″N 2°56′07″W / 59.1569°N 2.9353°W / 59.1569; -2.9353
Elgin, Moray Elgin cathedral 1.jpg Cathedral of the Holy Trinity 1224 Ruins in care of Historic Scotland
Known as The Lantern of the North
57°39′02″N 03°18′20″W / 57.65056°N 3.30556°W / 57.65056; -3.30556
Fortrose, Highland Fortrose Cathedral.jpg Church of Saint Peter and Saint Boniface of Fortrose 13th century Diocese of Ross
Ruins in care of Historic Scotland
57°34′51″N 4°07′50″W / 57.580885°N 4.130495°W / 57.580885; -4.130495[62]
Glasgow, Strathclyde Wfm glasgow cathedral.jpg St Mungo's Cathedral 1123 Archdiocese of Glasgow 55°51′47″N 4°14′04″W / 55.862966°N 4.234436°W / 55.862966; -4.234436
Halkirk, Caithness, Highland Halkirk, Caithness, Auld Kirk.jpg Tradition tells of a church founded by St Fergus in the early 8th century, before Caithness fell under Norse control. Claims that the cathedral of the Bishop of Caithness[51] was located here are unresolved. Halkirk was one part of the large parish of Skinnet until the 13th century.[63] There certainly was a bishop's residence here (probably including a chapel) as the third bishop, Bishop Adam, was murdered in his kitchen in 1222. His body was taken to nearby Skinnet for burial.[64] (There was also a residence at Scrabster, where the second bishop, Bishop John, was attacked and mutilated in 1201 by Harald Maddadsson.)[65] Although Halkirk and Skinnet became separate parishes in the 13th century, they were reunited by 1538, as the parish of Halkirk.[66] The parish church was replaced 1753 on the same site by a new kirk dedicated to St Fergus. It was declared redundant 1934 and called "Halkirk Auld Kirk". By 2000 the building was a danger, so the roof was removed and walls consolidated. Many graves surround the Auld Kirk (shown). No remains of the pre-1753 building are known. 58°31′01″N 3°29′11″W / 58.5169°N 3.4863°W / 58.5169; -3.4863
Hoddom, Dumfries and Galloway late 6th century According to tradition, a cathedral was founded here in the late 6th century by St Kentigern.[67] Any cathedral seems not to have kept that status after his death in 612, but a monastery developed, as evidenced by St Alcuin addressing a letter "to the abbot of Hoddom".[68] A parish church was built on the monastic site in the 12th century. This was replaced soon after the Scottish Reformation by a new kirk built 1609 nearer to Ecclefechan at Hoddom Cross, but destroyed by fire 1975. The co-ordinates given are for the monastic site. 55°02′30″N 3°18′20″W / 55.041563°N 3.305430°W / 55.041563; -3.305430
Iona, Argyll and Bute Iona Abbey.jpg St Mary's Cathedral 605-966 It was seat of the Bishop of the Isles and is currently used for worship by the Iona Community 56°19′34″N 6°24′02″W / 56.326127°N 6.400438°W / 56.326127; -6.400438[69]
Kingarth, Argyll and Bute St Blane's Church - - 1380.jpg Monastery of St Blane 7th century Care of Historic Scotland 55°45′N 5°02′W / 55.75°N 5.03°W / 55.75; -5.03[70]
Kinneddar, Moray Kineddar Church Location.jpg Kirk of Kinneddar c.1187-c.1208 Shortly after the death in 1184 of Bishop Simon de Tosny the seat of the Bishop of Moray was moved to Kinneddar.[71] 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) after consulting the Pope.[72] 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, used for later burials, was confirmed by surveys to be covering the foundations of the old kirk. 57°42′34″N 3°18′20″W / 57.709451°N 3.305645°W / 57.709451; -3.305645
Kirkwall, Orkney St Magnus Cthl Kirkwall.jpg St Magnus' Cathedral 1137–1689 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, Earl Rögnvald Kolsson (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.[73] Restorations during the 19th and 20th centuries led to the discovery of supposed relics of St Ronald and St Magnus[74] 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 James III it is owned by the town of Kirkwall and its inhabitants. 58°58′56″N 2°57′32″W / 58.98222°N 2.95889°W / 58.98222; -2.95889
Lismore, Argyll and Bute StMoluogsCathedral.jpg St Moluag's Cathedral 1200 Seat of the Bishop of Argyll 56°32′4″N 5°28′50″W / 56.53444°N 5.48056°W / 56.53444; -5.48056[69]
Madderty, Perth and Kinross Inchaffray Abbey Ruins 1794.JPG 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'",[75] quite possibly Culdees. The priory became an abbey c.1220. By c.1230 Dunblane Cathedral was roofless and had few staff,[76] 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.[77] A few ruins remain on farmland. 56°23′01″N 3°41′43″W / 56.3836°N 3.6954°W / 56.3836; -3.6954
Mortlach, Moray St Moluag's Cathedral 1063 to 1131 Translated to Aberdeen in 1131 57°26′27″N 3°07′34″W / 57.44078°N 3.12613°W / 57.44078; -3.12613
Muthill, Perth and Kinross Muthill Church.jpg c.12th century There was a Culdee community here in the 12th century[78] when Abernethy's bishopric was moved to Muthill. The bishops based here often took the title "Bishop of Strathearn". They moved to Dunblane in the 13th century, leaving their cathedral here, with its distinctive tower, as a parish church. It was enlarged in the 15th century, but abandoned when a new kirk was built 1826-28. It is now in the care of Historic Scotland. 56°19′34″N 3°49′57″W / 56.326164°N 3.832428°W / 56.326164; -3.832428
Rosemarkie, Highland 12th century Originally for the Bishop of Ross; translated to Fortrose in the mid-13th century 57°35′30″N 4°06′55″W / 57.59162°N 4.11516°W / 57.59162; -4.11516[79]
Saddell, Kintyre, Argyll Saddell Abbey proposed A Cistercian monastery founded 1160, completed 1207 (the mother house variously quoted as either Mellifont Abbey, Co Louth, Ireland or (less likely) Rushen Abbey, Isle of Man). In 1249 it was proposed, with papal approval, that the seat of the Bishop of Argyll should move to Saddell Abbey 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 at Sadell using stone from the defunct Abbey. In 1512 James IV attempted to have the cathedral moved from Lismore to Sadell once again, but again no move took place and the Abbey fell further into ruin The site eventually became a graveyard but some Abbey remains can be found. 55°31′55″N 5°30′41″W / 55.531944°N 5.511389°W / 55.531944; -5.511389
St Andrews, Fife St Rule's Tower, St Andrews - - 152701.jpg Church of St Regulus (or St Rule) c.1125[80] - 13th century Named for a legendary 4th century Greek who, one tradition says, brought some 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 and died 740.[81][82] One way or another, relics of St Andrew arrived by the 8th century on the coast at Kilrimund (or Kilrimont), a place later called St Andrews because of the relics. They must have been kept safe in a local church, and there was a Culdee monastery on the shore at Kilrimund which survived as the Church of St Mary on the Rock. Whether the monastery or another church nearby originally housed the relics, this first cathedral at St Andrews, dedicated to St Regulus, was built maybe c.1070.[83] Bishops of St Andrews, the chief centre of the Scottish church by the mid-ninth century,[81] are recorded from c.1028[84] 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. Its status and functions were later transferred to the new St Andrews Cathedral nearby, where construction started c.1160. The original tower and (unroofed) chancel still stand in the precincts of the later cathedral, all in the care of Historic Scotland. 56°20′23″N 2°47′11″W / 56.33965°N 2.786383°W / 56.33965; -2.786383
St Andrews, Fife St Andrews Cathedral Ruins Front.jpg St. Andrew's Cathedral 908 Archbishopric 1472
Ruins in the care of Historic Scotland
56°20′32″N 2°47′29″W / 56.342138°N 2.791386°W / 56.342138; -2.791386
Skeabost (Snizort), Highland Chapel on Saint Columba's Isle - - 311656.jpg Church of St Columba 15th century Originally the seat for the Bishop of the Isles, before being translated to Iona 57°27′12″N 6°18′21″W / 57.4532°N 6.3057°W / 57.4532; -6.3057
Skinnet, Caithness, Highland St. Thomas's Church late 12th century -
early 13th century
Soon after Bishop Adam, the third Bishop of Caithness, was murdered 1222 at Halkirk (then part of Skinnet parish)[85] his body was buried at the parish church of Skinnet.[86] His successor, Bishop Gilbert, soon began to plan the move to Dornoch Cathedral, away from the area of danger. When Dornoch 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 St Thomas Becket (murdered at Canterbury, Kent in 1170) implies the church was built soon after. Long abandoned, it is reduced to a few low walls, with some graves, in a field. No village remains. 58°22′40″N 3°29′41″W / 58.3777°N 3.4947°W / 58.3777; -3.4947
Spynie Holy Trinity Cathedral c.1208-1224 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.[87] The former cathedral remained a parish church until c.1735, when a new kirk was erected to the west (co-ordinates 57.660308N 3.371631W) 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.500m 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. 57°40′21″N 3°17′42″W / 57.672551°N 3.294929°W / 57.672551; -3.294929
Whithorn, 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[88] 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[89] The Priory site is in the care of Historic Scotland. 54°43′59″N 4°25′03″W / 54.733189°N 4.417525°W / 54.733189; -4.417525
Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway Whithorn Priory 20080423 nave.jpg Cathedral of St Martin of Tours and St Ninian c.1130-1690 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. Following the Scottish Reformation of 1560 parts of the 12th century cathedral fell into disrepair. After 1690 the nave (only) became the parish kirk. In the early 1700s 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, under the care of Historic Scotland. 54°44′01″N 4°25′03″W / 54.733500°N 4.417389°W / 54.733500; -4.417389

Post-Reformation Roman Catholic Cathedrals[edit]

Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway Shakespeare St, Dumfries.jpg St Andrew's Cathedral 1878 to 1961 Destroyed by fire on 10 May 1961, translated to Ayr 1962, new church built in its place 55°04′06″N 3°36′24″W / 55.068352°N 3.606584°W / 55.068352; -3.606584[90]
Ayr, South Ayrshire AyrRCCathedral.jpg Good Shepherd Cathedral 1957–2007 Translated from Dumfries
Closed in 2007
Transferred to St Margaret's, Ayr
55°28′11″N 4°35′57″W / 55.469842°N 4.599087°W / 55.469842; -4.599087[90]


Location Image Name Dates Notes Coordinates
Denbigh, Denbighshire Leicester's Church, Denbigh.jpg proposed Earl of Leicester's church intended as a cathedral to replace St Asaph, but now an unfinished ruin on the walls of Denbigh Castle 53°10′56″N 3°25′09″W / 53.182308°N 3.419218°W / 53.182308; -3.419218
Rhuddlan, Denbighshire Rhuddlan Castle.jpg proposed Site mooted c.1400 as replacement for St Asaph after it was attacked by Owain Glyndŵr, probably within the curtiledge of Rhuddlan Castle 53°17′38″N 3°27′50″W / 53.294°N 3.464°W / 53.294; -3.464[91]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Olson (1989), pp. 53-55
  3. ^ Olson (1989), p. 55
  4. ^ Smith (2011), p. 155
  5. ^ Smith (2011), pp. 117, 380
  6. ^ The fort of Orthona and the chapel of St. Peter-on-the-Wall Bradwell-on-Sea Essex (Booklet available at the Chapel itself)
  7. ^ St Peter's Chapel, Bradwell, Essex, England
  8. ^ Tatton-Brown (1989), pp. 21-22
  9. ^ Crediton Parish Church
  10. ^ Jones, T. "The English Saints - East Anglia (Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999), p.57
  11. ^ Archaeology UK retrieved 18 May 2013
  12. ^ Priory of Hoxne from British History Online retrieved 3 June 2013
  13. ^ Kirby, D. P. The Saxon Bishops of Leicester from University of Leicester retrieved 18 May 2013
  14. ^ Olson (1989), pp.66-67
  15. ^ Godfrey (1962), p.53
  16. ^ British History Online retrieved 18 May 2013
  17. ^ Julian Munby. Saxon Chichester and its Predecessors in Haslam. Anglo-Saxon Towns in Southern England. pp. 317–320
  18. ^ Tatton-Brown. The Medieval Fabric in Hobbs. Chichester Cathedral: An Historic Survey. p. 25
  19. ^ Kelly. The Bishopric of Selsey in Hobbs. Chichester Cathedral: An Historic Survey. pp. 1–10.
  20. ^ St Andrew's Church from retrieved 18 May 2013
  21. ^ Hadcock, R.Neville; Knowles, David (1971). Medieval Religious Houses England & Wales. Longman. p. 482. ISBN 0-582-11230-3. 
  22. ^ GENUKI. Stow-in-Lindsey. Retrieved on 15 June 2007
  23. ^ Home | Bath Abbey
  24. ^ We've Moved!
  25. ^ Midmer (1979), p.119
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