List of cathedrals in Scotland

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This is a list of cathedrals in Scotland.

A cathedral church is a Christian place of worship that is the chief, or 'mother' church of a diocese. The distinction of cathedral refers to that church being the location of the cathedra, the seat of the bishop. In the strictest sense, only Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy — those that are led by bishops — possess cathedrals. However in common parlance, the title cathedral is often still used to refer to former Scottish cathedrals, which are now within the (presbyterian) Church of Scotland.

Because of Scotland's religious history, cathedrals of several different Christian denominations are found around the country. Before the Scottish Reformation, the Christian church in Scotland was Catholic. Its thirteen dioceses were each governed by a bishop whose Episcopal see was centred on a cathedral. In 1560, the Scottish church broke communion with Rome and became Protestant. After years of dispute, the post-Reformation Church of Scotland finally abolished the Episcopacy in 1689 and adopted the Presbyterian system of governance. Scotland's former cathedrals remained in use as parish churches, now organised under a system of synods and presbyteries.[1]

The Scottish Episcopal Church formed as a breakaway from the Established Church of Scotland, retaining the system of bishops, was Anglican, but it was excluded from mainstream religious life. In the later 19th century, laws repressing Episcopalian and Catholic worship were repealed (for example, under the Roman Catholic relief bills). With their new-found freedom, these denominations flourished and began to build their own cathedrals. For this reason, Scotland's Episcopalian and Catholic cathedrals are mostly Victorian in origin.[1]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

Church of Scotland[edit]

The Church of Scotland is no longer governed by bishops, and so officially has no cathedrals. However, buildings that were cathedrals prior to the Reformation, or in periods of the church's history when it did have an episcopacy, are still commonly called "cathedrals". They are often denoted by the title "High Kirk".

Image Name & dedication Presbytery Established Website Location
St Machar's Cathedral St Machar, Aberdeen Aberdeen 1131 57°10′11″N 2°06′08″W / 57.1698°N 2.1021°W / 57.1698; -2.1021 (St Machar's Cathedral Aberdeen)
Brechin Cathedral Brechin Cathedral Angus 13th century 56°43′55″N 2°39′42″W / 56.731944°N 2.661667°W / 56.731944; -2.661667 (Brechin Cathedral)
Dornoch Cathedral Dornoch Cathedral Sutherland 13th century 57°52′52″N 4°01′47″W / 57.881128°N 4.029622°W / 57.881128; -4.029622 (Dornoch Cathedral)
Dunblane Cathedral Dunblane Cathedral Stirling 7th century 56°11′22″N 3°57′55″W / 56.189419°N 3.96525°W / 56.189419; -3.96525 (Dunblane Cathedral)
Dunkeld Cathedral Dunkeld Cathedral Dunkeld and Meigle 1260 56°33′54″N 3°35′23″W / 56.565°N 3.589722°W / 56.565; -3.589722 (Dunkeld Cathedral)
St Giles Cathedral St Giles, Edinburgh Edinburgh 12th century 55°56′58″N 3°11′27″W / 55.949444°N 3.190833°W / 55.949444; -3.190833 (St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh)
St Mungo's, Glasgow St Mungo, Glasgow Glasgow 1136 55°51′47″N 4°14′05″W / 55.863°N 4.2346°W / 55.863; -4.2346 (St Mungo's Cathedral, Glasgow)
St. Magnus Cathedral at Sunset St Magnus, Kirkwall Orkney 1137 58°58′56″N 2°57′32″W / 58.982222°N 2.958889°W / 58.982222; -2.958889 (St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall)
St Moluag's Cathedral St Moluag, Lismore Argyll 592 56°32′04″N 5°28′50″W / 56.534444°N 5.480556°W / 56.534444; -5.480556 (St Moluag's Cathedral, Lismore)

Scottish Episcopal Church[edit]

Image Name & dedication Diocese Established/Website/Location
Aberdeen, St. Andrew's Cathedral - - 598057.jpg Aberdeen Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Andrew
Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney 1817
57°08′57″N 2°05′34″W / 57.1490454°N 2.0928955°W / 57.1490454; -2.0928955 (St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen)
St. Pauls Cathedral, High Street (geograph 2458647).jpg Dundee Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Paul
Diocese of Brechin 1855
56°27′40″N 2°58′05″W / 56.4610153°N 2.9680869°W / 56.4610153; -2.9680869 (St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee)
St Mary's 3 spires.jpg Edinburgh Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Mary
Diocese of Edinburgh 1879
55°56′55″N 3°12′59″W / 55.948595°N 3.216269°W / 55.948595; -3.216269 (St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh)
Wfm st marys cathedral.jpg Glasgow Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin
Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway 1871
55°52′24″N 4°16′30″W / 55.8734329°N 4.2749262°W / 55.8734329; -4.2749262 (St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow)
River Ness.jpg Inverness Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Andrew
Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness 1869
57°28′28″N 4°13′45″W / 57.4744737°N 4.2291141°W / 57.4744737; -4.2291141 (St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness)
Cathedral of the isles.jpg Millport Cathedral
Cathedral of The Isles and Collegiate Church of the Holy Spirit
Diocese of Argyll and The Isles 1882
Cathedral of The Isles [6]
55°45′20″N 4°55′27″W / 55.7555746°N 4.924171°W / 55.7555746; -4.924171 (The Cathedral of The Isles, Great Cumbrae)
Oban, cathedral church of St. John the Divine - - 922762.jpg Oban Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St John the Divine
Diocese of Argyll and The Isles 1864
co-cathedral with Millport [7]
St Ninian's Cathedral, Perth (Scotland).jpg Perth Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Ninian
Diocese of Saint Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane 1850

Catholic Church[edit]

Province of St Andrews and Edinburgh[edit]

Image Name & dedication Diocese Established/Website/Location
St Mary's Cathedral, Aberdeen-2.jpg Aberdeen Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Mary of the Assumption
Diocese of Aberdeen 1880
57°08′43″N 2°06′23″W / 57.1453812°N 2.1064199°W / 57.1453812; -2.1064199 (St Mary's Cathedral, Aberdeen)
St Margaret's Cathedral, Ayr by Ian Rainey Geograph 6036865.jpg Ayr Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Margaret
Diocese of Galloway 1822
Translated from Good Shepherd, St John's Street
Church on Nethergate street.jpg Dundee Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Andrew
Diocese of Dunkeld 1782
56°27′27″N 2°58′29″W / 56.4574399°N 2.9746985°W / 56.4574399; -2.9746985 (St Andrew's Cathedral, Dundee)
St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral Edinburgh 2.JPG Edinburgh Cathedral
Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of St Mary
Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh 1814
Mother church of the Province of St Andrew's and Edinburgh [10]
55°57′22″N 3°11′16″W / 55.956057°N 3.187827°W / 55.956057; -3.187827 (St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh)
St Columbas Cathedral, UK.jpg Oban Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Columba
Diocese of Argyll and the Isles 1932

Province of Glasgow[edit]

Image Name & dedication Diocese Established/Website/Location
Wfm st andrews cathedral glasgow.jpg Glasgow Cathedral
Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of St Andrew
Archdiocese of Glasgow 1797
55°51′20″N 4°15′10″W / 55.855461°N 4.252897°W / 55.855461; -4.252897 (St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow)
Motherwell Cathedral - Geograph-3626472-by-Anne-Burgess.jpg Motherwell Cathedral
Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Good Aid
Diocese of Motherwell 1947
Church consecrated in 1929. 55°47′29″N 3°59′13″W / 55.79128°N 3.98704°W / 55.79128; -3.98704 (Motherwell Cathedral)
St Mirin's Cathedral - - 371343.jpg Paisley Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Mirin
Diocese of Paisley 1948
Church consecrated in 1931. 55°50′51″N 4°25′00″W / 55.847533°N 4.4165844°W / 55.847533; -4.4165844 (Paisley Cathedral)

Greek Orthodox Church, also serving other Orthodox communities[edit]

Image Name & dedication Diocese Established/Website/Location
Greek Orthodox Church Glasgow.jpg Glasgow Orthodox Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Luke
1877 Belhaven Presbyterian Church [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oggins, Robin S. (1996). Cathedrals of Great Britain and Ireland. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 45. ISBN 9781567993462. Retrieved 6 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Cathedrals in Scotland at Wikimedia Commons