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Melrose Abbey

Melrose Category Historic Sites
Melrose Abbey image

Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, with lavishly decorated masonry.

It was founded by King David I in 1136, as the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland. The spot was chosen due to its association with the early Christian monastery at nearby Old Melrose founded by St Aidan in about 640.

The abbey grew rich on the wool trade, suffered through the Wars of Independence, and was substantially rebuilt in the 1380s. It continued in use as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. After that, the existing monks were allowed to stay on: the last one died in 1590.

The abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, which is marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque. Visitors can also visit a small museum housing a display of artefacts found within the abbey.

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