Here are some of the most enchanting abbey and cathedral ruins, and how they got destroyed.
Elgin Cathedral Ruins in Moray, Scotland
Elgin Cathedral, also known as the Lantern of the North, was established in 1224. In 1390, Robert III’s brother, Alexander Stewart, aka the “Wolf of Badenoch,” set this gothic cathedral on fire. This was his way of getting revenge on the Bishop of Muray who caused his excommunication for martial infidelity.
Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh
Established by David I in 1128, Holyrood Abbey became a royal residence for James IV during the 15th century. The royal influence enlivened the abbey with dances, masques, coronations, and banquets. However, with the Scottish Reformation in the early 16th century, the structure suffered great damage after a mob destroyed the altar and plundered the rest of its church. At the end of the Reformation, the east end was damaged beyond repair, and that part had to be demolished.
King Charles I remodeled the abbey in 1633. Then the abbey became a Roman Catholic Chapel in 1686; however, two years later another mob plundered the abbey and destroyed its royal tombs. These events caused decreasing in public interest towards the structure. Nevertheless, the actual disaster came after the timber roof trusses were replaced by stone vaults in 1758-60. The stones were too heavy for the decaying walls and the worn flying buttresses. Finally, the roof collapsed in 1768.
Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, England
Established in 1132, Rievaulx Abbey was one of the greatest abbeys in England until its demolition in 1538, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries (suppression of monasteries under the rule of Henry VIII).