The cathedral was built in 1224 on ground granted by Alexander the II in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland.
A fire in 1270 damaged the cathedral significantly initiating a major rebuilding program that substantially increased the size of the edifice. It was unaffected by the Wars of Independence but was again badly damaged by burning in 1390 following an attack by Robert III’s brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, also known as the Wolf of Badenoch. In 1402 the cathedral precinct again suffered an incendiary attack by the followers of the Lord of the Isles. The cathedral was abandoned during the Reformation in 1560 and the services transferred to Elgin’s parish church of St. Giles.