Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline

Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on the ancient and historic, Dunfermline Abbey which is located in S.E.Scotland and not far from Edinburgh. Prior to 1603 ( when the Scottish royal court moved to London) the Abbey and nearby Palace was a very important power centre in Scotland. However, after departure of the Royal Family, the Palace was left to decay. Post Reformation, the nave of the church continued in use a a parish church and therefore survived. In the 19th century the present parish church was added to the east of the Old Church.

The name Dunfermline may mean Fort of Parlan (Parlan=MacFarlane), and the town/settlement probably has a history dating back about 2000 years. This was the site where Scottish monarchs were buried before burial on Iona became the custom.

The Old Church (subject of this post) was founded by King David I in Romanesque style in the 12th century. This replaced an earlier structure founded by Queen Margaret in the 11th century. The tomb of King Robert the Bruce, one of Scotland’s most famous royals, is located in the ‘new’ 19th century church.

Key features of the Old Church:

  • Side walls are carded on five massive pillars on left and six on right.
  • Atop the pillars are semi-circular arches to support upper part of the walls.
  • Two pillars have a chevron design
  • Above the vaulting there is a gallery or arcade which runs the length of the building.
  • In the video clip note existence of remains of coloured decoration which pre-dates the Reformation.
  • In the exterior image (above) note the massive arched buttresses which were built to stop the structure collapsing.

This building together with nearby ruins is an important part of Scotland’s history but does not normally feature on the tourist route. There is an added bonus in that the high elevation can afford stunning views over the locality.

Inside Dunfermline Abbey , Dunfermline

Inside Dunfermline Abbey , Dunfermline, Scotland

Inside Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline

Inside Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline, Scotland

Elsewhere today, I have firmed up two new tours; one three day and one day.

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