St Machar’s Cathedral
Still referred to as a Cathedral, St Machar’s has not held a Bishop’s seat since the Reformation and is in reality a high kirk. Legend has it that St Machar was informed by God to find a place where a river bends like a bishops crozier and then to establish a church there. Hence in 580 St Machar founded his church in Aberdeen where the River Don flows upon such a route. Nothing remains of the Saints original church. The current building has many features that date back to the 14th and 15th century.
In 1967 some schoolboys witnessed the apparition of a severed hand near the churches main doorway. It is interesting to note that when William Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered at Smithfield in 1305, his remains were taken to various parts of the country to warn the population of what would happen if they defied England. Wallace’s left quarter ended up in Aberdeen where it was entombed in the walls of St Machar’s Cathedral. His head was displayed on London Bridge, right foot and leg went to Perth, left arm to Berwick and right arm to the bridge in Newcastle, so we can’t assume it was one of Wallace’s hands.