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Dryburgh Abbey

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Dryburgh Abbey is situated 8 miles southeast of Melrose, just over the River Tweed from the Village of St Boswells, but a 3 mile drive around in a car. You can walk round from St Boswells via a Suspension Bridge, past the Temple of the Muses, about 1 and a half miles in distance. Map

The Abbey is popular for visits to the graves of Sir Walter Scott and Earl Haig.

The Abbey is open 1 Apr to 30 Sept: Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm, last entry 5pm. 1 Oct to 31 Mar: Daily, 10am to 4pm, last entry 3.30pm. Postcode: TD6 0RQ.

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Dryburgh Abbey was founded in 1150 with an agreement between Hugh de Morville, Constable of Scotland, and Canons from Alnwick Abbey in Northumberland.

Hugh de Morville was a wealthy landowner who funded the Abbey himself. Most other large Abbeys were funded by Kings.

Hugh de Morville was Constable of Scotland for King David I, who is said to have helped with the founding of the Abbey.

There is an ancient memorial to de Morville in the south wall of the Abbey, said to be where he was buried.

King David I was a son of Malcolm III Canmore by his wife Margaret of Wessex, now known as Saint Margaret. This family united a number of small Scottish Kingdoms into the one Kingdom of Scotland.

The Canmore's used religion to unite communities, making it easier to control the country. They were the Kings of Scotland from 1058 to 1286, funding the building of large Abbeys and Cathedrals around Scotland, such as the most important:

Dunfermline Abbey 1070

Kelso Abbey - 1128

Melrose Abbey 1136

Jedburgh Abbey 1147

Dryburgh Abbey 1150

St Andrews Cathedral 1158

Arbroath Abbey 1178

Elgin Cathedral 1224

With Dryburgh Abbey being close to the Border, it was damaged during wars with England and had to be re-built a few times.

1322 - Dryburgh Abbey was destroyed during the First War of Scottish Independence.

1385 - King Richard II led an invasion force into Scotland to put down rebellions from Scots and their allies the French. Richard's forces partially destroyed Dryburgh and other Abbeys in the Borders area.

1530s - Henry VIII ended Catholic worship in England, leading to Abbeys throughout England being destroyed.

1544 - Dryburgh Abbey was again partially destroyed after King Henry VIII of England began sending forces into Scotland to destroy Abbeys and Castles to try and get the Infant Mary Queen of Scots to mary his young Son, a War known as the Rough Wooing.

1560 - the Scottish Parliament followed England, ending Catholic worship, leading to many Cathedrals and Abbey's in Scotland being destroyed.

Monks were allowed to live out their lives at the Abbeys that were being run by a Commendator.

Some Catholic buildings were converted for use as Protestant Churches, saving them from destruction.

1600 June - Commendator of Dryburgh Abbey, David Erskine, wrote to a relative stating all the canons had died, end of the Monastery.

1604 - the remaining possessions of Dryburgh Abbey were taken over by John Erskine, Earl of Mar.

1832 September - Sir Walter Scott died at his Abbotsford Mansion 9 miles west of Dryburgh Abbey. Scott was buried at Dryburgh Abbey a few days later.

1845 - a large Baronial House was built next to Dryburgh Abbey for the family of Lady Griselle Baillie. No doubt much of the stone for the House was taken from the Abbey.

1928 - Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, died in London. His body Lay in State at Westminster Abbey in London, and St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, before being buried at Dryburgh Abbey.

Haig owned Bemersyde House 3 miles north of Dryburgh Abbey, the historic home of his family.

1929 - the Baronial House next to the Abbey was converted to the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel.

Other attractions close by are the:

William Wallace Statue 1 mile north on the same B6356 road.

Scott's View 2 miles north on the same B6356 road.

Smailholm Tower 6 miles east off the B6404 road.

Extended History at Wiki

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