Historic Scotland
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Opening times

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm

1 October to 31 March:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Check here for unexpected closures




Explore the origins of the most famous document in Scottish history – the Declaration of Arbroath. Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England in this letter to the Pope, sent from Arbroath Abbey in 1320.

Founded by William the Lion in 1178, in memory of martyr Thomas Becket, the abbey remained one of the nation’s grandest monasteries for almost 400 years. Much later, the Stone of Destiny had a starring role in Arbroath Abbey’s story.

What to see and do

  • Soak up the atmosphere of a site long associated with Scotland’s sense of independent nationhood
  • Step inside one of the most complete abbot’s residences in Britain
  • View famous local landmark the ‘Round O’, a circular window that was once lit up to guide mariners home
  • See the marble effigy thought to depict William I, also known as William the Lion
  • Gaze up at the west front, a stunning example of a twin-towered church façade
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