Fortrose Cathedral on the Black Isle, Scotland
Not the biggest of Scotland Cathedrals or Abbeys but none the less still a ruin of some charm. Many folk pass on the main road through Fortrose not realising that within a few yards there is this 13th century Cathedral. Situated on a compact enclosed green area and surrounded by houses, mostly built of Red Sandstone to match the ruins, it becomes a little gem.
Although it was constructed in the 13th century, like most Religious buildings, it perhaps has its religious origins from an earlier location close by. It is suggested that this was Rosemarkie and Chanory, just a stones throw from Fortrose. Sadly like so many of our ancient Religious buildings they suffered under some misguided leader, in this instance it was Oliver Cromwell in the mid 17th century who ordered to its demolition.
Standing roofless, all that remains is the needle like Bell Tower, Chapter House and Nave’s. But there is still enough of the building to admire its architectural style and craftsmanship, the arched windows and pillared doorway and Porch hint at the buildings original style.
As I suggested, Fortrose Cathedral is not as dramatic as many of its contemporary structures, but what it lacks in drama is made up by its charm, its rich colour and its rather fine, quiet location. Well worth a detour if in the Moray Firth Area and anywhere near the Black Isle, the Black Isle itself a charming and often overlooked area by tourists.
As for the clock on the Bell Tower….obviously not 13th century, nor would it have been there when Cromwell plundered the Cathedral… as to when it was installed I haven’t a clue
(C) David Oakes 2018