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Dundrennan Abbey

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Dundrennan Abbey is situated in the very small village of Dundrennan in Dumfries and Galloway southwest Scotland, 54 miles east of Stranraer, 26 miles southwest of Dumfries, 6 miles southeast of Kirkcudbright.

The Abbey has a small fee to enter, open from 1st April to 30th September, 9.30 to 5.30. Postcode: DG6 4QH

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Dundrennan Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1142 by Fergus of Galloway, with help from monks of Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire. King David I of Scotland (1124–53) contributed to the build.

The remains of the Abbey are impressive with the high transepts, stated to be built in Romanesque architectural style, although there are a number of Gothic features.

Viewing the remains of the Abbey, you will see a number of features seen in the largest city Gothic Cathedrals, an incredible building for such a remote and low populated area.

Dundrennan was the largest Cistercian Abbey in Dumfries and Galloway, having power over the smaller Glenluce Abbey founded in 1191, and Sweetheart Abbey founded in 1273.

1568 - Mary, Queen of Scots spent her final night in Scotland at this Abbey, after being forced to abdicate so her infant son could become king of Scotland.

Mary, Queen of Scots left from here to travel to England, where she was imprisoned and executed in 1587.

Mary had bean accused of murdering her husband Lord Darnley when living at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, and trying to overthrow Queen Elizabeth of England after moving to England.

1560 - during the reformation, John Knox founded the Church of Scotland under Presbyterian Protestantism, with the head of these churches being Scottish Elders.

All Abbey's in Scotland and England were abandoned around that time as the Reformation prevented Catholic preaching's based on the Pope in Rome.

The Reformation in England was led by King Henry VIII from 1534, with the King or Queen being the head of English churches since.

Much of the stone from the Abbey was used for buildings in the village of Dundrennan, and the remains of the Abbey were used to house farm animals.

1842 - the Abbey was taken into state care so the remains could be preserved to serve as a tourist attraction.

Today - Historic Environment Scotland runs the Abbey with a number ornate grave stones, and carved stones from the main building on display.

The foundations and remains give the sense of how large this complex was, at a time people were living in tiny thatch roofed buildings.

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