Melrose Abbey

Hi everyone! If you’re looking for a day trip outside of Edinburgh, Melrose Abbey can be done in conjunction with Abbotsford House. The two sites are about 10 minutes apart and only an hour outside of Edinburgh!

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You may be wondering – what is Melrose Abbey? Once a home and a place of worship, it is now in ruins. It is quite eerie to walk through the grounds of the church where a grand cathedral once stood.

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King David of Scotland built the abbey in 1136, and monks from York moved there to create a home. However, only a few hundred years later – the English burned the Abbey, causing King David and the surviving monks to flee North.

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King Robert the Bruce aided in the restoration to rebuild Melrose Abbey. His heart is said to be buried there. (Yes, you read that right – his heart, not his body). He was one of Scotland’s greatest warriors and led them into the first war for Scottish independence against the English.  In 1560, at the peak of the reformation, the abbey (and town) were bombarded by English cannons. The affects of this attack are what you see today when you visit the Abbey. In its prime, Melrose Abbey was home to over 120 monks, who lived and worked there.

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It costs only 6 euros to enter and comes with an audio guide that walks you through the ruins, explaining what everything once was. To view more information on entrance fees and times, check out this link here.

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Along the outside of the ruined cathedral, you can find a statue of a pig playing the bagpipe! (This is actually typical in Scottish gothic architecture). 

I found Melrose Abbey to be incredibly moving. It is sad to see what war and religious differences can do to people. Although only the bones of the cathedral and abbey still stand, it’s easy to imagine what this place looked like in all it’s glory.

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Stay tuned for some more posts about my time in Scotland!

Cheers, Amanda


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