Sweetheart Abbey

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Sweetheart Abbey is situated 7 miles south of Dumfries, in the small village of New Abbey, on the A710 road.

The Abbey is open 1 April to 30 September: Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm, and 1 October to 31 March: Daily except Thursday and Friday, 10am to 4pm. Small entry fee.

Map / DG2 8BU . Area Click On Map . 24 Large Images . Website .

Sweetheart Abbey is situated at the south side of New Abbey village, as seen top right, with the Abbey Cottage Tearoom next to the abbey.

The New Abbey Corn Mill and Abbey Arms Hotel are on the north side of the village, with the corn mill another top attraction in the area.

1275 - Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery originally named Abbey of Dulce Cor, Latin for Sweet Heart.

The Abbey was founded by Lady Dervorguilla in memory of her husband, Baron John de Balliol.

Lady Dervorguilla was the daughter of the wealthy Alan, Lord of Galloway.

1268 - Baron John de Balliol died when he was about 60 years old. Lady Dervorguilla then kept his embalmed heart in a casket of ivory and silver until she died in 1290.

The casket was buried alongside her in her tomb inside the Abbey.

Their son John was king of Scotland from 1292 to 1296. He was accused of being controlled by the English, leading to the Wars of Scottish Independence, and him being forced to abdicate.

The Reformation in 1560 led to the end of Catholic worship in Scotland. This led to the Abbey, as with most others in Scotland at the time, being run down and much of the stonework being taken for town or farm buildings.

It is surprising these impressive Abbeys were not converted to Protestant churches.

1779 - locals set about preserving what was left of the Abbey to serve as a monument for the area. Driving through the village, the Abbey looks vast, towering above the little cottages.

1928 - Historic Environment Scotland took over the Abbey to serve as a tourist attraction.

Sweetheart Abbey Images