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Jedburgh Abbey

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Jedburgh Abbey is situated in the Borders Town of Jedburgh, 48 miles southeast of Edinburgh, 15 miles southeast of Melrose, 10 miles north of the Border with England at Carter Bar.

The Abbey is open 1 April to 30 September: 9.30am to 5.30pm. 1 October to 31 March: 10am to 4pm. Postcode: TD8 6JQ

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A Priory at Jedburgh was founded in 1118 by Augustine Monks for Prince David. The Prince became King of Scotland in 1124 as David I. David had the Priory enlarged over the years before raising its status to an Abbey in 1147.

King David I was the youngest son of Malcolm III by his wife Margaret of Wessex, later Saint Margaret. This family, known as the Canmore's, united a number of small Scottish Kingdoms into the one Kingdom of Scotland, with their first large Place of Worship built by their Castle at Dunfermline in 1070.

The Canmore's used religion to to help control the entire country. They were Kings of Scotland from 1058 to 1286, funding the building of large Abbeys and Cathedrals around Scotland, such as some of the largest and 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 Jedburgh Abbey being close to the Border, it was damaged almost every time Scotland was at war with England.

1296 - at the outbreak of the First War of Scottish Independence, Jedburgh Abbey was spared destruction by the English as the Abbot of Jedburgh swore loyalty to the mighty King Edward I of England.

1297 - the forces of William Wallace defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, leading to the English damaging Jedburgh Abbey.

1306 - Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland, leading a campaign over the following years to remove English forces from Scotland. The Bruce then had Jedburgh Abbey repaired.

Many minor wars between Scotland and England over the following 250 years led to Jedburgh Abbey being damaged and repaired.

1530s - Henry VIII put an end to Catholic worship in England, destroying many of the Abbeys.

1544 - Jedburgh Abbey was badly damaged after King Henry VIII of England sent forces into Scotland to destroy Abbeys and Castles. This was an an attempt to force the Scots to have the Infant Mary Queen of Scots married to his young Son, a War known as the Rough Wooing.

1560 - the Scottish Parliament ended Catholic worship in Scotland, leading to many Cathedrals and Abbey's in Scotland falling into ruin, with much of their stone taken for buildings in the towns.

Most Abbey's, and their vast lands, were then run by a Commendator, allowing the Monks to live out their lives at the Abbey's.

From this time, Jedburgh Abbey was used as a Protestant Parish Church.

1622 - Andrew Kerr was created First Lord of Jedburgh.

1624 - Andrew Kerr died, with him being buried in the Lothian Isle of Jedburgh Abbey. Many of his descendants are buried there as well.

1671 - the Church had to be moved to the western end of the Abbey as much of the building was becoming un-safe.

1870 - William Schomberg Robert Kerr, 8th Marquess of Lothian, died, with him being buried in the Lothian Isle of Jedburgh Abbey, the largest Tomb as seen right.

1875 - a new Parish Church was built across the road from the Abbey, allowing Schomberg Kerr, 9th Marquess of Lothian, to start work on making what was left of the Abbey safe.

1917 - Jedburgh Abbey was handed over to the State to be run by Historic Environment Scotland as a Tourist Attraction.

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