Saturday 18 July 2020

Dryburgh Abbey

Dryburgh Abbey lies on the banks of the River Tweed not far from St Boswells and Melrose. The remains of this once busy and elegant abbey sit within tranquil gardens making it easy to imagine the serene cannons at work and prayer. The abbey is the burial place of Sir Walter Scott, David Erskine (11th earl of Buchan) and Field Marshall Earl Haig, whose ancestors settled Bermesyde.

Dyrburgh Abbey was founded in 1150 in an agreement between Hugh de Morville, Constable of Scotland and the Premonstratensian Canons and was the first and largest of six monasteries established in Scotland by the Premonstratensian Order of Canons.

Despite it's serene and secluded location the abbey has a turbulent history. In 1322 it was burned by retreating English troops of Edward II following an unsuccesful invasion. During the following decades the abbey was restored and the Canons returned again to a peaceful life. However in 1385 during the invasion of Richard II the abbey was again burned  and almost destroyed. Despite these setbacks the abbey continued to flourish and returned to its peaceful existence. The final blow came in 1544 when both the abbey and town of Dryburgh were destroyed by Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, returning again in 1545 to set fire to the abbey once again. This time the abbey was not fully rebuilt and the numbers of Canons remaining slowly dwindled. By 1580 only four remained and by 1584 this number had dropped to two. By 1600 the remaining two monks had died marking the end of the monastery.

In 1786  David Steuart Erskine, the 11th Earl of Buchan purchased Dryburgh House creating a beautiful and serene landscape incorporating and preserving the ruins of the abbey. He is buried in the abbey in the family vault.

Sir Walter Scott and his family are buried in the North Transept of the abbey.  The abbey was once owned by his paternal ancestors, the Haliburtons



North Transept

Other Abbeys Nearby 
   Jedburgh Abbey
       Kelso Abbey
     Melrose Abbey

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