Dunfermline Abbey Church

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Dunfermline Abbey is situated in the centre of Dunfermline Town.

The earliest parts of this Church were built in the 1070s for Malcolm Canmore (King Malcolm III) and his wife Margaret, later Saint Margaret.

The buildings seen today are the large Abbey and Palace that are now a partial ruin with a museum, and the large Abbey Church that has the west side built in the 1200s, and east side built in the 1800s.

View a Large Image showing the whole complex.

Map/ KY12 7PE . Dunfermline Pages . Large Images . Website .

The remains of Canmore Tower, the kings castle, are situated in Pittencrieff Park next to the Abbey.

Malcolm III made Dunfermline his capital of the parts of Scotland he controlled. His descendants were the first kings to control all of Scotland.

Before this time, Scotland was made up of a number of regions, each with their own ruler.

David I, son of Malcolm and Margaret, built the large fortresses of Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle from where they could start to control all of Scotland.

The Canmore Kings ruled Scotland until Alexander III 1249 – 1286 died without leaving an heir. This led to the wars with England and Robert the Bruce becoming king of Scotland.

Descendants of Robert the Bruce were the Stuart's, that ruled Scotland and England until Queen Anne Stuart died in 1707 without leaving an heir. Her German cousin George I became king of Great Britain at that time, with his descendants being the monarchs of the UK to this day.

Many royals are buried at Dunfermline Abbey including Malcom III and his wife Margaret in 1093, their son David I in 1153, Malcom IV in 1165, the last Canmore king Alexander III in 1286, and Robert the Bruce in 1329.

After Margaret became a Saint, Royals from around the world requested parts of her remains. There seems to be no remains left of Saint Margaret at Dunfermline Abbey. A shrine to Saint Margaret is situated on the east side of the Abbey Church.

The original priory church built for Malcom III and Margaret was built around 1073, where the larger Abbey Church stands today.

That church was enlarged by their son Alexander I from 1126 with a huge central tower. Domestic buildings were also built next to the Abbey Church from this time, resulting in the church being raised to the status of an Abbey for David I in 1150.

1560 - The Reformation leads to Dunfermline Abbey becoming a Protestant Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

1600 - Charles I is born at the Palace at Dunfermline Abbey. He was king of Scotland, England and Ireland from 1625 until his execution during the English Civil War in 1649.

1818 - the collapse of the great tower destroyed much of the Abbey Church, leading to the east side being rebuilt. This has resulted in the Abbey Church looking like two different buildings joined in the middle.

1818 - workmen find the tomb of Robert the Bruce. A cast of his scull was taken at that time, now displayed in the new church.

1819 - the remains of Robert the Bruce are interred in the new section of the church below the alter.

1821 - the new section of the Abbey Church is completed, it serves to this day as a Church of Scotland Parish Church.

1900s - The partial Abbey ruins, Palace, and 1200s section of the Abbey Church are maintained and run as a museum by Historic Scotland with a small entrance fee.

The 1800s section of the Abbey Church is free to visit when not in use for private Weddings and Funerals.

Dunfermline Abbey Images
 
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