You are very welcome to visit the remains of this magnificent medieval cathedral and to enjoy its beautiful grounds on the bank of the River Tay.

The thirteenth-century choir of the cathedral is now the parish church and is open daily.  You will find a small museum in the fifteen century sacristy, which can be entered through the choir.

The ruined fifteen century nave and tower of the cathedral are in the care of Historic Scotland.

CHOIR ~ MAINLY 13TH CENTURY ~ in the medieval cathedral this east end housed the ceremonial area around the high alter and the stalls for the canons and other clergy.  Since the reformation it has served as the parish church for Dunkeld.

Leading off the choir is the 15-century chapter house, which now contains a small museum on the history of the cathedral.


The eastern limb of the cathedral was built first because this is where the high alter and stalls of the clergy were located and Mass was celebrated.  It was built in the mid-13th century but was greatly rebuilt during the early 14th century under Bishop Sinclair.  What you see now, however, dates mostly from a restoration of 1814.  The western limb, or nave, started un 1406 for Bishop Cardeny, was consecrated for religious use in 1464 under Bishop Lauder.  A fine feathure of the aisles on either side of the nave is the elaborate window tracery, particularly that in the chapel of St. Ninian at the east end of the south aisle.

The west front of the cathedral, as started in 1406, was quite a simple design.  However, in 1469 a vast new window was inserted and a single tower started to the northern side.  Although little of the window survives there is enough to see that it must have been one of the most elaborate ever built in Scotland.  It is a very similar design to that of the window in the south transept of St. Michael's, Linlithgow.

Medieval cathedrals like Dunkeld took centuries to build so no one person ever saw them completed from start to finish.  Abbot Alexander Myln's book on the bishops of Dunkeld, written in 1555, gives us a good idea of who built different parts of the cathedral.  The evidence of architecture, including the prominently place coats of arms of several bishops, also helps indicate the successive phases of work.


If you get the chance to ever go check out the grounds and the cathedral at Dunkeld.  The grounds and cathedral are along the River Tay, many benches to sit on and enjoy the surroundings.

  1. Dunkeld Cathedral - Highland Perthshire
  2. Dunkeld Cathedral - Wikipedia