Culross Abbey, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on one of Scotland’s lesser known abbeys, namely that at Culross which is an attractive heritage village  which sits on the north side of the Firth of Forth, N.W.of Edinburgh.

The village of Culross features some fascinating restored buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries many of which are owned by Scotland’s National Trust. The name Culross is derived from the Gaelic for holly.

Culross Abbey, Scotland

Culross Abbey, Scotland

The ruined abbey sits on a hill above the village and is often overlooked by visitors. A brief summary of the site is as follows:

  • Established in 1217 to a cruciform design as a Cistercian Monastery but on an a Christian site dating back to the 6th century.
  • The abbey went into decline long before the Reformation of 1560.
  • By the late 15th century many monks had left. The western half of the building was abandoned and the nave demolished in 1500.
  • In 1633 the east choir was adapted for use as the parish church and the remainder of the buildings fell into decay.

A walk up the hill  to the abbey site entails passing various specimens of 15th/16th century residential architecture and is recommended.

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