Elgin

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Elgin is a Town on the Moray Coast area of Scotland, 38 miles east of Inverness, 22 miles east of Nairn, 12 miles east of Forres.

Elgin is popular for its huge Cathedral, Town Centre Church, Market Cross and Museum, Lady Hill where Elgin Castle once stood, Cooper Park with a Pond, Moray Motor Museum, Glen Moray Distillery on the west side, Spynie Palace 3 miles north, Lossiemouth Beaches 6 miles north, and there are a number of Walks in the area including the Moray Way.

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See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

Camping & Touring Parks in the area.

The image top is of Lady Hill, about 3 hundred yards west of Elgin Centre. This is where Elgin Castle was built for King David I in 1130. The Monument for the Duke of Gordon was erected in 1839, now a popular spot for views over Elgin.

The second image is of St Giles Church in Elgin Centre, built in 1827 to replace the Muckle Church from the 1180s.

On the east side of St Giles Church is the Market Cross or Muckle Cross, erected here in 1882. The original Market Cross from the 1600s, was situated a short distance East of St Giles Church. Parts of the Old Market Cross were used in the new one.

Elgin Museum is about 200 yards east of St Giles Church, down the High Street, mid way between the Town Centre and Cathedral. In front of the Museum is the Little Cross, where People accused of Minor Crimes would be Chained for Public Punishment, such as Whipping and Humiliation.

The Museum holds Objects from around the World, as well as Local History from before the Dinosaurs to Present Day.

Cooper Park is a short walk north of the Town centre, with a Pond and Elgin Library with a Cafe.

Elgin Cathedral is at the east side of Cooper Park, built for the Bishops of Moray from 1224. This Cathedral was abandoned after the Reformation in 1560 made Catholic Worship illegal. This is one of the top attractions in Scotland, second largest Cathedral in Scotland, after St Andrews Cathedral.

The Moray Motor Museum is situated a short walk north of Cooper Park on Bridge Street, over the River Lossie via a Pedestrian Bridge. The Museum has a collection of Veteran, Vintage, Classic Cars and Motorbikes, as well as Model Cars and Automobilia.

Glen Moray Distillery is on the West Side of Elgin on Bruceland Road. This Distillery began producing Single Malt Whisky in 1897, mainly matured in ex Bourbon Barrels from 8 to 28 years. This Distillery has a Visitor Centre.

Elgin is also a good base to visit the many other Speyside Single Malt Distilleries with Dufftown just 17 miles south. Distilleries List.

Elgin Golf Club is on the south side of the Town, founded in 1906.

Spynie Palace is 3 miles north by the road to Lossiemouth, built from the 1100s for the Bishops of Moray and Elgin Cathedral, a top Visitor Attraction in the area.

Lossiemouth is 6 miles north with two Beaches, west and east. The East Beach is amazing, but the Foot Bridge was closed to that Beach in 2019. The Government are to fund repairs to the Bridge, as it is regarded as one of the Top Beaches in Scotland.

Elgin History

Before 1100s - there was a Wooden Castle on Lady Hill, 300 yards west of where the Elgin centre is today.

1040 - King Duncan was wounded in Battle with the forces of Earl Macbeth, at Pitgaveny, about 3 miles northeast of Elgin. King Duncan was taken to Elgin Castle where he later died. This is the Macbeth from the William Shakespeare Play.

1130 - King David I took control of the area, making Elgin a Royal Burgh, and replacing the Wooden Castle on Lady Hill with a Stone Castle.

The Royal Castle at Elgin was popular with Scottish Kings, especially for Hunting Trips in the Vast Forests, such as: David I, William I, Alexander II, and Alexander III.

1180s? - the Muckle Church was built in the centre of Elgin, at the Market Square on the High Street.

1207 - the Bishops of Moray had a small Cathedral and Palace at Spynie, 3 miles north of Elgin.

1224 - King Alexander II granted land to the Bishops of Moray to build the vast Elgin Cathedral, a short distance east of Elgin centre.

1296 & 1303 - King Edward I of England stayed at Elgin Castle during the First War of Scottish Independence, a time the English were in control of Elgin.

1308 - forces of Robert the Bruce began pushing the English out of Scotland, with Bruce becoming King of Scotland. The Scots forces damaged many of the Castles the English had occupied, including Elgin Castle, so the English could not use them in future Wars.

1390 - Bishop Alexander Bur of Elgin Cathedral excommunicated Alexander Stewart, Wolf of Badenoch, for marriage infidelity. Stewart was a descendant of Robert the Bruce, brother of King Robert III.

Alexander Stewart and his followers then attacked the area, burning the towns of Forres and Elgin, including two Monasteries and Elgin Cathedral. The Cathedral was re-built over the following years.

1560 - the Reformation in Scotland made Catholic Worship illegal, leading to Elgin Cathedral being abandoned and falling into ruin. The Muckle Church in the centre of Elgin was then used as the main place of Worship, as a Protestant Church.

1701 - the Medieval Tolbooth in Elgin centre, next to the Muckle Church, was burned down by a Prisoner.

1746 March - Prince Charles Edward Stuart traveled from Inverness to Elgin where he became unwell, leading to him staying there for 11 days with a Mrs Anderson, at Thunderton House. This Building was used as an Inn for some time, with the Inn closing in 2014, with plans later being made to convert the Building to a Museum and Hostel.

1746 April - Prince Charles and his Jacobite Army were defeated by Government Forces at Culloden, 35 miles west of Elgin, the last Jacobite Battle.

1800s - most of Medieval Elgin was replaced by new buildings, leading to the scenic High Street and Market Square seen today.

1819 - Dr Gray's Hospital was built at the far west end of the High Street, with large Columns and Dome. Dr Alexander Gray made his fortune working with the East India Company.

1828 - St Giles Church was built on the site of the Muckle Church in the centre of Elgin. This new Church has a Classical Frontage with Columns and 112ft high Tower.

1832 - the Anderson Institute was built in the east end of the town for about 50 children and elderly people. Lt. General Andrew Anderson was born in Elgin, leaving £70,000 to the people of Elgin. He also made his money working with the East India Company. This Building is now a Care Home for the Elderly.

1839 - the 80 foot high Monument for the Duke of Gordon was erected on Lady Hill, on the remains of Elgin Castle.

1842 - Elgin Museum was built on the east end of the High Street.

1846 - the Elgin Fountain was built on the west side of St Giles Church, on the site where the Medieval Tolbooth once stood.

1852 - the Morayshire Railway opened, connecting Elgin and Lossiemouth, with Lossiemouth being 6 miles north on the Coast with a busy Harbour. This line was soon extended 13 miles south to Craigellachie Village, where there are a number of Single Malt Whisky Distilleries.

This was a busy time for these Railways as Herring Fishing was at its peak, and the Distilleries were transporting their Whisky, and bringing in Barrels from Europe and America to mature their Whisky.

The area prospered through Fishing, Whisky, and Linen.

1858 - the Rail Line between Inverness and Aberdeen, passing through Elgin, was completed.

1882 - the Muckle Cross was moved to the east side of St Giles Church.

1880s - Elgin and Lossiemouth had become one of the most prosperous areas in Scotland, with a number of Banks, Insurance Companies, Newspapers, and Hotels.

1897 - the Glen Moray Whisky Distillery opened on the west side of Elgin.

1906 - Elgin Golf Club was founded.

1964 - the Elgin to Lossiemouth Railway closed.

1968 - the Elgin to Craigellachie Railway closed.

1990 - Elgin Railway Station was re-built for Trains running between Aberdeen and Inverness.

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