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
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.
Click On Map for area
Camping & Touring Parks in
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
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
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
1530s - Henry VIII ended Catholic worship in
England, leading to Abbeys throughout England
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
1560 - the Scottish Parliament followed
England, ending Catholic worship, leading to
many Cathedrals and Abbey's in Scotland being
Monks were allowed to live out their lives
at the Abbeys that were being run by a
Some Catholic buildings were converted for
use as Protestant Churches, saving them from
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
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