Christianity: Aesthetics: Spirituality: Life: Stuart and Moira Gray

Current Pictures: Melrose Abbey, Scotland

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It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, at the request of King David I of Scotland. Completed in 1146 it became the mother church of the Cistercians in Scotland. In its prime it had 100 monks and a substantial trade in wool. However, it suffered continually from English raids from 1322 to 1544. The last abbot was James Stuart, natural son of James V, who died in 1559, and the last monk died in 1590. In 1561 the lands were seized as part of the Reformation and either retained by the Crown or divided amongst the nobility. In 1610, a portion of the Abbey's church was converted into a parish church for the surrounding town. This was in use until 1810 when a new church was built. Melrose Abbey also contains the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce, reburied in 1998.

Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey Transept

Melrose Abbey Arches

Museum at Melrose Abbey

Heart of Robert the Bruce

Melrose Abbey in 1810

Melrose Arch detail