Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

This evening, I am posting information on Scotland’s Border Abbeys which share an affinity in that:

  • All were originally constructed around the 12th century.
  • Are in relatively close proximity to each other, about 40 miles /65km south of Edinburgh.
  • All suffered damage at the hands of English troops during the Wars of Independence (1286-1329) and other conflicts.
  • Final demise of all occurred at time of the Reformation (when Scotland switched from Catholicism to Protestantism), around 1560.
  • All are now romantic ruins and tourist attractions.
  • Three of the four were founded by King David I of Scotland.

Melrose Abbey is probably the most popular of the four owing its picturesque appearance and proximity to a main tourist route. It was founded by King David I in 1136 and it is here that the heart of King Robert the Bruce is buried. Romantic novelist Sir Walter Scott instigated repairs in the 19th century.

Melrose Abbey, Melrose, Scotland

Dryburgh Abbey was founded in 1150 by Hugh de Moreville and was occupied by Premonstratensians (priests,not monks). Finally destroyed by the Earl of Hertford’s army in 1544.

Dryburgh Abbey, Scottish Borders

Sir Walter Scott’s burial Place at Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland

Jedburgh Abbey was, like Melrose Abbey, founded by King David I. Date was 1138. The Abbey was built for an Augustinian order of monks. The final English military attack was 1545 with cessation of religious activity in 1560.

Jedburgh Abbey, Scottish Borders

Kelso Abbey was founded in 1128  by King David I. It was home to a community of Tironsian monks. By 1550 the structure had been reduced to rubble by English armies.

Kelso Abbey, Scotland

Kelso Abbey, Scotland