Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on the historic Abbey at foot of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.

The adjacent Palace of Holyroodhouse has its origins in a guest house or royal chambers connected with the Abbey. This was the home of an Augustinian order founded by David I ( reigned 1124-53). There is a legend that founding of the Abbey was inspired by King David’s vision of a stag with a cross or ‘rood’ between its antlers. The name ‘Holyrood’ may be derived from a fragment of the true cross brought to Scotland by David’s mother, St Margaret.

Architecture detail ot Holyrood Abbey.

Architecture details at Holyrood Abbey.

The Abbey prospered and when Edinburgh became  Scotland’s capital in the 15th century the royal family favoured the Abbey location as a residence because of the surrounding parkland and hunting opportunities. James II was born at Holyrood and James III married Margaret of Denmark there.

Eventually, the royal lodgings outgrew the Abbey in size and importance.

The Abbey suffered structural damage during 1544 and 1547 (English armies) and again in 1559 (during the Reformation). In 1768 the roof collapsed during a storm leaving the structure much as it is today.

There are burials of high status individuals inside the Abbey ruins.

My guests usually visit the Abbey as part of a tour of the adjacent Royal Palace. The ruins are impressive with some useful photo opportunities.

Interior of Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh

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