Friday, 2nd June, 2023

It was a very full and fulfilling day today. We visited a number of places beginning with St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dundee. The foundation stone was laid in 1853 and it was completed in 1855. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott and is in the style of the Middle or Decorated period of Gothic architecture. It's is only a small building really, but it had quite a lot of interest in it and some rather beautiful windows. The church became a cathedral in 1905.

Looking from the west

The Quire (with nave altar in foreground)

The Lectern

The founder of the cathedral, Bishop Forbes, is buried under this brass and marble tombstone.

The high altar with its alabaster and marble reredos

Detail of above

Bishop Forbes' memorial

This statue of St Columba was commisioned to mark the 1400th anniversary of his death (1997).

Some of the choir stalls with the organ at the rear

The Canons' Stalls

The Bishop's Throne

King David I

The Lindores Cabinet is decorated with seventeen panels of medieval carving which are believed to have come from Lindores Abbey. After several hundred years, they found their way to the cathedral and, in 1923, they were built into this cabinet.

The Pulpit

A mosaic of the Annunciation

The Nativity (I think Mary had overdone the swaddling clothes!)

The Three Kings

The Flight to Egypt

Looking West

Embroidery on the high altar frontal

Another depiction of the Annunciation. I hoped Gabriel was not getting a headache!

Stephen, the first Christian martyr is stoned; and Ananias giving sight to St Paul

St Paul being freed from prison by an earthquake; St Paul being shipwrecked (note the splendid waves at the bottom of the scene)

St Edward the Confessor and St Cuthbert (with, as usual, the head of King Oswald)

Jesus giving St Peter the keys of heaven

Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount

Jesus changing water into wine at the Wedding in Cana

From the cathedral, we went to the Dundee Museum of Transport. The exhibit of most interest there was a version of the famous car "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Although this particular one was not used in the film, it was used for promotional purposes. The proprietor kindly let us sit in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, despite the fact that a sign said not to, and even took a photo for us. It has an engine, is driveable, and is still registered.

Detail of the horn

The opening sequence of the 2012 James Bond movie, Skyfall, sees Bond give chase in a Land Rover Defender 110 through the streets of Istanbul. The action is fast paced, dangerous and all at close quarters. This is the car used!

A 1912 T59 Overland

Other exhibits included various vintage cars, vintage buses, vintage bicycles and motorbikes as well as a large quantity of associated memorabilia.

Our next port of call was the frigate HMS Unicorn. She is the oldest ship in Scotland, one of the oldest ships in the world, and one of the last intact warships from the age of sail. As Unicorn was built shortly after the naval wars against Napoleon ended, she was never rigged and she only went to sea for the voyage from Chatham to Dundee, during which she was under tow.

The HMS Unicorn, launched in 1824. The protective covering was added in that year. Satoshi thought it made her look "Chinese"!

This is "Diego" who often frequents the ship. Apparently, he is owned by someone nearby.

A model of the HMS Unicorn

The Upper Deck of Unicorn was designed to carry an armament of fourteen 32-pounder carronades. These cast-iron guns were developed in the second half of the eighteenth century at the Carron Iron Foundry in Falkirk, Scotland, and named after the foundry itself.

Unicorn would have been steered using this large wooden wheel. It consists of two wheels connected by a central barrel, allowing up to four crew members to steer the ship in heavy weather.

There is a naval tradition that, when there is a baptism on a ship, its bell is removed from its usual position, turned upside down, filled with water and used as a font. The inside rim of the Unicorn's bell has been inscribed with the names of several people baptised in this manner.

The Captain's cabin (at the stern of the ship)

The Captain's table

Reproduction of a Brodie Stove from a galley in a frigate of the time, constructed for the "Hornblower"
television series

Much of the wood in the ship is in poor condition. One wondered how much longer it will remian afloat!

The crew's mess

The Officers' Mess

An Officer's Cabin

Lunch was purchased at the Quay restaurant nearby before we drove to Dundee Law. This is the highest point in Dundee and affords wonderful 360° views of the whole area.

  Our next stop was Arbroath Abbey. As with many sites managed by Historic Scotland, there was restricted access to this abbey. We were only permitted in the grounds, not inside any of the ruins. Of course, this was disappointing and it made photography difficult but we did our best!. It was definitely worth a visit even so.

The Gatehouse

From the gatehouse, looking back

Looking towards the east end of the church. All that remains of the nave are the foundations of its pillars.

The east end

The south-east corner of the church

The South Transept

Another view of the south transept

Within the abbey grounds is a museum with some artefacts from the abbey and information about the Declaration of Arbroath. This was a letter by a group of Scottish barons to Pope John XXII. It is dated 6th April 1320. Clicking on the link will give you the opportunityto learn more about it.

The tag-like objects at the bottom of the letter are the seals of the barons.

A fragment of a tomb sculpture, 1600s. A skeleton is depicted pointing an arrow at the heart of a stooped figure. Tomb carvings of this period often featured a vivid memento mori - literally, remember you will die'.

We then headed back to Dundee via Arbroath Harbour.

The Harbour has an inner and an outer section. Because the harbour is tidal, these gates, similar to a lock, keep the water level in the inner harbour at a constant depth of approximately 2.5 metres. The gates are opened when the tide comes in and the water level of both parts of the harbour are the same.

The Mad Hatter was located at the gate of a playground near the harbour.

We crossed the Tay Road Bridge on our way back. There is a walkway down the centre of the 1.4 mile bridge while cars travel either side. At the Newport-on-Tay end of the bridge, there is a small park and carpark.

We finished the day with dinner at the Dundee Farmhouse Inn. This establishment offers a carvery similar to Toby Carvery. We enjoyed our meal there!

< Back   Forward >

Back to Calendar