Sunday, August 23, 2015

Discover Dornoch

The sarcophagus of Sir Richard de Moravia, brother of the founder of the cathedral, St Gilbert. Sir Richard was killed in battle about 1240.
Dornoch has a market on Wednesdays during the summer.  They published a nice brochure for folks to pick up, telling about all of their markets, sales, festivals and fairs during 2015.  It's a busy little town.  We decided to go the Wednesday market, just for comparison with other markets in other countries.  What we found was an interesting town with a beautiful cathedral and a small market where they were trying to raise money to build a new community center.

Not sure what this is for, but it was made in 1790.

The cathedral was built by by the Bishop of Caithness, Gilbert de Moravia, at his own expense.  It was consecrated in 1239.  The Bishop was the last Scot to be given a place on the Calendar of Saints. The cathedral has gone through several renovations, helped along by several wealthy patrons, including Andrew Carnegie in 1893 (installation of the organ) and 1908 (renovation of the organ) and his daughter, Margaret, (renovation of the organ) in 1979.  Andrew Carnegie stayed each year in Skibo, 6km from  Dornoch, and worshiped here.

Yes, that's right, the American industrialist, Andrew Carnegie.

Just hanging around the outside of the cathedral.
Dornach has always been a market town.  To one side of the graveyard is a pladen elt, a stone used to measure tartan to be cut, so the merchant wasn't able to cheat the buyer.  Originally, the market was set up in the graveyard, with the tables and stalls set over the graves.  After a wall was built around the graveyard to prevent damage by roaming pigs, the market was cut in half and went into decline.

Celtic cross in the graveyard.

The stone where tartan material was measured for cutting and selling.  This insured the buyer received the true amount.
The market the day we were there, while small, had quite a bit of variety.  All of the items offered were local, from handcrafted pillows, clothing, and purses, paintings and photography, baked goods and gorgeous cupcakes, candy, cheese and, our favorite, the man selling pork pies and home grown vegies.  The pork pies had been baked the day before.  He grew the pig, his wife made the pies.  We had it for dinner with roasted vegies.
Wednesday market on the Cathedral green.

Front entrance to the cathedral.
 Walking around the village, it's obvious much care has been taken to preserve the old buildings and when new ones are added, to have them built in a matching style.  It is paying off, as tour buses have Dornoch on their itineraries.
Old buildings, new tour bus.

Walking his pony to the market. 

We browsed in an antique shop, knowing we wouldn't be buying, but enjoying the look.  Then ate our lunch before heading home.  A good day!

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