Dunblane Cathedral

Leslie had an event on in Dunblane; after dropping her off I had some free time to explore the town. In particular I wanted to visit the cathedral which is famous for its stained glass windows.

The Allan Water, Dunblane

On the walk up from the station I passed the Leighton Library, which happened to having an open day. It is the oldest purpose-built library in Scotland and was built to house the collection of Robert Leighton, Bishop of Dunblane and later Glasgow. The single room has walls lined with wooden bookcases whilst the centre is filled with desks, reading stands and display cases. The collection is eclectic with history, language, exploration and fiction all sitting alongside one another. Outside the casement windows the garden was resplendent in the colours of autumn.

The Leighton Library, Dunblane

Just a short walk further up the hill brought me to the cathedral. Run by Historic Scotland, entry is via donation. I followed the suggested tour in an anticlockwise direction, starting with the choir and chapter house, and then taking in the aisles on either side of the Nave.

The Chancel, Dunblane Cathedral

The southern walls of the choir are dominated by a series of large stained glass windows, designed by Louis Davis and installed in 1915. The choir stalls block easy viewing of these windows in places but it was possible to make out the names of those who died in the Antarctic under Scott in 1912. These are placed at the foot of the appropriately named Chaos window depicting storms and the violence of nature.

Great South Windows of the Choir, Dunblane Cathedral

In the Chapter House, a number of smaller windows are much easier to see and appreciate. The detail and colour in the Transfiguration window, designed by Gordon Webster, were particularly striking.

Chapter House, Dunblane Cathedral

Along the North Aisle is the Tenison window, a multicolour extravaganza depicting the Compassion of Christ_ and designed by Gordon Webster. Further along are two of the cathedral bells, the Great and Lesser bells which were founded in the 1600s.

The Lesser and Great Bell, Dunblane Cathedral

Nave, Dunblane Cathedral

After visiting the tiny Clement Chapel I continued along the South Aisle where the moving memorial to the victims of the 1996 tragedy in Dunblane sits. Above this are the Barty Windows, another creation of Louis Davis. These windows depict scenes from the Song of Simeon with beautiful figures amongst motifs of clouds, storms and sky.

Barty Windows, Dunblane Cathedral

Detail from the Barty Windows, Dunblane Cathedral

Barty Windows, Dunblane Cathedral

Detail from the Barty Windows, Dunblane Cathedral

The other large window along the South Aisle is the Baptismal Window, designed by Douglas Strachan.

The Baptismal Window, Dunblane Cathedral

Towards the Choir, Dunblane Cathedral