Elgin Cathedral

Elgin Cathedral

Find out how staff at Elgin Cathedral collaborated with local organisations and developed resources to make a much more meaningful ancestral tourism experience for visitors.

Elgin Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, much of which dates back to the 13th century. Its many outstanding architectural features include the country’s finest octagonal chapterhouse.

Another feature of the site is the fascinating graveyard, which attracts many visitors searching for relatives and links with their past.

In 2009, to coincide with Homecoming and to assist these ‘ancestral’ visitors, staff at the Cathedral forged strong links with local heritage and genealogy organisations, enhancing the visitor experience at not only the building but also within the Elgin area.

Local collaboration - developing resources and themes

Working with the Moray Burial Research Group and the Elgin Local Heritage Centre, themed afternoons were held to assist visitors to the Cathedral in tracing their family history which proved particularly popular.

Staff also produced a gravestone map to assist visitors in finding the final resting place of their ancestors and where possible, staff were on hand to guide visitors around the cemetery to make sense of often faded headstones.

Nicola Grant, Monument Manager at Elgin Cathedral says: 

By identifying the importance of the ancestral tourism market to the Cathedral and working with key local organisations in the field, we were able to provide a much more meaningful visitor experience to our visitors with genealogy links. This was reflected in a 2% rise in visitor numbers in 2009 on the previous year”.

For more information on Elgin Cathedral click here.

Find more case studies in the Tourism Intelligence Ancestral Tourism Guide.