On my way to work a week ago, I took a small detour and dropped into Dunblane, mainly for a look at Dunblane Cathedral . The first bishop of Dunblane dates back to 1150 but it was Bishop Clement in the 13th century that built most of cathedral. The tower you see at the front is older, it dates back to the 11th century - at least it does up to the obvious change in the masonry - it was made taller in the 15th century. There was extensive restoration in the late 19th century. The roof had fallen in of the Nave (in the picture below, the left hand half of the building) in the 16th century and had remained that way for 300 years - services were held in the choir (the right hand half).
In 1564 William Chisholm became the last Catholic bishop of Dunblane and with the Protestant reformation the church moved to the Church of Scotland. Like St Giles in Edinburgh, Dunblane Cathedral it technically just a church - the Church of Scotland has no bishops and therefore no cathedral, though St Giles and Dunblane are still referred to as Cathedrals. Also, unusually, Dunblane Cathedral is owned by the Crown and looked after by Historic Scotland.
A view of the inside of the choir.
From about half way down the choir, looking past the choir screen into the nave.
There are some medieval choir stalls in the choir and at the back of the nave (not in use of course) with some interesting carvings on them. This is the best photograph I managed of them (actually it's the only one with any suggestion of being in focus at all in it)
I managed better with the Misericords (fold down seats, sometimes called mercy seats, that when folded up can still be used for some support when standing - they usually have curious carvings underneath, often rude or pagan). This I think is a leopard with a fine set of wallies (that's dentures to the non Scots out there).
Not quite the usual design but very definitely a green man.
A dragon with his tail in a knot.
Next to the choir is the chapterhouse, which the Cathedrals website thinks may have been used as a temporary church while the rest of the Cathedral was being built.
Amongst others, it contains this window by Douglas Strachan (remember him from St Giles in this blog ). More from him on my windows blog.
At the back of the nave are two early christian cross slabs - sign says 10th or 11th century.
A quick shot from the back of the nave down through the whole church.
This little window in a chapel at the back of the nave is of the churches main builder, Bishop Clement. It's by Gordon Webster, who did several of the buildings windows (more from him at Windows soon). It's certainly the smallest window I saw there.
Mr Webster's drawing for the window is hanging in the museum across the road.
Also in the chapel are some examples of calligraphy by Helen Lamb. There are several pieces of her work throughout the cathedral including war registers in the chapter house and....
...this cradle roll.
Most of the woodwork in the church dates to the restoration under the command of Scottish architect Robert Rowand Anderson in the late 19th century. Including this pulpit surrounded by historical figures.
This is David I.
and John Knox.
The ends of the pews are nicely carved with a selection of flowers.
The pews at the front have a selection of animals - I was quite glad this fine fellow was the one that came out in focus.
An angel from the choir stall.
On the South wall of the nave are a few windows by Louis Davis. The one below is St George giving the dragon a hard time again and Hope on the other side. He really excelled himself in a set of windows in the choir though. I've done a post about them here.
The 13th of March in 1996 in Dunblane saw Scotland's darkest day of my lifetime at least. This carved stone commemorates the 16 children and their teacher who were murdered that day.
Outside, and I'm sure people thought that a good strong iron gravestone would be a great idea - not that you can read much on them now.
There's a few extra pieces of medieval church carving in the museum across the road. This one features a savage looking dragon.
A much safer and apparently vegetarian dragon.
Adam and Eve perhaps. A fine set of whiskers on the chap for certain, which he seems to like to stroke, and quite a jawline on the young lady.