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Visit Melsose and other FAMOUS BORDERS ABBEYS - Scottish Borders

Richard II, in retaliation for a raid by the Scots in 1385, sent a force North of the border which saved nothing and burnt down with fiery flames God's temples and holy places - to wit the monastries of Melrose, Dryburgh and Newbattle" Work started on the complete rebuilding of Melrose abbey almost as soon as Richard's forces had left, and it is the remains of this new building which we see today.

The delicacy of carved stone is remarkable. The visitor can spend hours finding carved images and decorative details, some of it high up and thus well preserved. The Coronation of the Virgin The clam shell of St James Saints, including St Andrew, St Catherine, St Peter, St Paul, St Thomas dragons, gargoyles, and flowers and plants

A particularly beautiful sculpture of the Virgin and Child concieved in a 14th century continental style. On the lintel of the bell-stair the celebrated master mason John Morow from Paris left his mark and incription: "Be halde to ye hende" which means" Keep beholden to, or keep in mind, the end, your salvation", and has become the motto of the town of Melrose itself.)

There is much of interest in the abbey precinct including the Burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart (brought back from the crusades), and the Commendators House of 1590, now a museum. Restoration of the abbey was carried out under the direction of Sir Walter Scott in 1822.

Visit Jedburgh Kelso and Dryburgh Abbeys

Melrose Abbey
Scotland and the Scottish Borders spectacular abbeys give an insight into the former wealth of the area. Melrose Abbey was built by the Cistercian Monks and boasts some of the most intriguing architectural features in Scottish history. The foundation of Melrose Abbey in 1136 was part of King Davidís major reorganization of Scottish churches. It sits majestically in the busy town of Melrose built around the Abbey. Like Dryburgh and Newbattle Abbeys it was badly damaged by the English in 1385, but rebuilt and added to throughout the 1400's.
Dryburgh Abbey
One of Scotlandís most beautiful abbeys, Dryburgh, is situated on a very scenic stretch of the famous River Tweed, Dryburgh became the premier house of the Premonstratentian Order in Scotland, although it never matched its neighbouring Border abbeys for wealth and influence. The White Canons of the Premonstratensian Order, who followed the rule of Saint Augustine, arrived at Dryburgh on St Martin's day in 1150, and within two years had consecrated the church of St Mary of Dryburgh.

Dryburgh is the final resting place of many famous Borderers such as Sir Walter Scott, The Earl of Buchan, and Earl Haig, and is steeped in Scottish heritage. The original site of the Abbey was 4 miles down the River Tweed, just below Scott's View. Founded by St Aidan in about A.D. 660, it's first prior was St Boisil who was succeeded by St Cuthbert, the apostle of the Borders, who dwelt there until 664 when he became prior of Lindesfarne. Later, when St Cuthbert died, it became one of his resting places before his body was taken to the place where Durham Cathedral was founded. Then in 1131, David I, King of Scots, encouraged the Cistercian monks who had been sent by Bernard of Clairvaux from France to found a new Abbey on the present site below the Eildon Hills. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin on Sunday 28 July 1146. It was only after Scott was laid to rest at Dryburgh that the Abbey was restored and cared for, gardens made and parkland trees planted. The surrounding park, as beautiful and secluded as it is today, is very different from the pastoral setting Scott knew. When Scott was alive it was an expansive open field, grazed by sheep and cattle and dotted with blackthorn and gorse. Many people who visit Dryburgh are struck by the atmosphere of tranquility. The monks who lived here observed the rule of silence, perhaps the essence of their intention lives on....
Jedburgh Abbey
Jedburgh Abbey, the Abbey of St. Mary, sitting high up on the bank of the Jed Water.  For nearly 1000 years this spot was the focus of Christian worship in Jedburgh.  The tranquil beauty of the abbey belies the turbulent history that came with its close proximity to England. With work beginning soon after 1138, the abbey church is one of the most complete you will see when you visit Scotland.
Kelso Abbey Kelso Abbey built from 1128, was one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture, and when finally completed in 1243, it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. John and soon took its place in Scottish history as the largest and richest Abbey in Scotland.

The Ancient Abbeys in the Borders are sparkling jewels in Scottish history, and as you visit Scotland and the Scottish Borders, you will discover the joy of this regionís crowning glories and the historic significance of this Regions Illustrious past and Religious Significance.
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