Commemorating the 800th anniversary of Brechin Cathedral

Date: Monday 8 June - Friday 14 June 2020
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The commemoration of Brechin Cathedral’s 800th anniversary may have had to be postponed for a year but ANGUSalive’s Museums Galleries and Archives social media pages will still feature some of the fascinating objects, artworks and documents, together with a podcast, in an online piece this week.

There are few buildings in Angus with such a long and rich history as Brechin Cathedral, whose origins are thought to date back to the establishment of a chapel somewhere nearby by St Dubhoc or Duthoc possibly named after a pictish King, by the late 800s it seems that a religious order known as the Céli Dé (or Culdees) had set up a church, and the first recorded mention is in the year 972 when King Kenneth II endowed lands to the religious community in Brechin. The unique round town structure still seen next to the present cathedral was built sometime around 1100 and by 1220 the priory had become a small cathedral which is the 800th anniversary we celebrate.

Throughout the week some of the objects which will be featured in our online display include; Seals from the Chapter of Brechin Cathedral and Papal Bulla of Pope Alexander IV used on correspondence and found in Brechin, these would have been used to as an official identification of authenticity from one sender to another.

A rare fragment of a breviary, a songbook from Brechin Cathedral dated c. 1200-1299, which was uncovered during conservation, which contains Latin text and musical score, and was used for celebrating the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brechin Cathedral and its Song School. This item was discovered by Archive staff when the Brechin Shoemaker Incorporation minute book was sent for conservation.

A note in the hand of D.D. Black (Author of ‘History of Brechin’ 1864) which describes the placing of a sealed container or time capsule in the foundations of the renovated Cathedral in 1842.

Virtual visitors will be able to join us all week to discover more interesting objects, artwork and documents from the Angus Council collections, managed by ANGUSalive, listen to a podcast on the subject and be invited to share pictures of any cathedral ephemera from their own collections.

For more information about the virtual feature visit our social media channels at

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