A history of Dunblane, the home town of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray

08 July 2013
imports_CESC_0-ffw7mt5n-100000_17990.jpg A history of Dunblane, the home town of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray
We discover the history of tennis hero Andy Murray’s hometown of Dunblane. ...
A history of Dunblane, the home town of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray Images
We discover the history of tennis hero Andy Murray’s hometown of Dunblane.

The cathedral town of Dunblane has been an ecclesiastical centre since the seventh century. Although early documents relating to the town’s history are few, the town’s name is believed to mean ‘fort of Blane’, referring to the sixth century Irish saint Blaane who had a monastery on the Isle of Bute and may also established a church in Dunblane.
The town’s bishopric dates from 1141, during the reign of David I, who granted the town its charter.

Dunblane Cathedral
Dunblane Cathedral (pictured) dates to the thirteenth century and is home to two cross slabs which are around two centuries older than the present cathedral building. The eleventh-century bell tower was also incorporated into the later cathedral, with a tower extension added in the fifteenth century.

I know not anything so perfect in its simplicity and so beautiful, in all the Gothic with which I am acquainted (art critic John Ruskin on Dunblane Cathedral)

The cathedral fell into disrepair after the Reformation and was re-roofed in the nineteenth century, with new furnishings by Edinburgh architect Robert Rowand Anderson added between 1889 and 1893.
The cathedral has a cenotaph which remembers the seventeen victims of the Dunblane Massacre of 1996.
Dunblane Cathedral, The Cross, Dunblane FK15 0AQ; tel: 01786 825388.

Dunblane Museum

The museum tells the story of 2,000 years of Dunblane’s history and is home to one of the largest collections of communion tokens – metal discs once issued to allow communicants access to receiving communion. Other collections include:

  • Eecclesiastical books
  • A complete set of 'The Journal of the Society of Friends of Dunblane Cathedral'
  • An original 1715 newspaper report on the gathering of troops ahead of the Battle of Sheriffmuir
  • Records of internments in the cathedral churchyard and the churchyards of Kilbryde Chapel and St Mary’s Church.

The museum also has a garden, which demonstrates different garden styles from the seventeenth century through to the present. One of the oldest and most valuable items held is a 4,000-year-old cannel coal necklace which was discovered in a local quarry. Dunblane Museum is currently home to an exhibit of sporting memorabilia relating to Dunblane tennis champion Andy Murray.
Dunblane Museum, The Cross, Dunblane FK15 0AQ; tel: 01786 825691.

Leighton Library

Leighton Library (pictured) is the oldest private lending library in Scotland and was established in 1684, founded on the collection of Robert Leighton, bishop of Dunblane from 1661 to 1670 (and later archbishop of Glasgow).

The library was built from stone taken from the nearby ruined medieval Bishop’s Palace, at a total building cost of £162 2/6d. Nowadays, the library is home to some 4,500 printed books in 89 languages, including a first edition of 'Lady of the Lake' by Sir Walter Scott, a prayer book which belonged to Lady Jane Grey, a volume of poetry by George Buchanan and a book of psalms from 1504.
Leighton Library, 61 High Street, Dunblane FK15 0EH; tel: 07866 822296.

(Library image copyright Bill Cresswell, Geograph Project)

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