Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at this ruined medieval abbey, set in tree-fringed pastures. See original paintwork and hear your voice echo in the medieval chapter house, and find the effigy of a murdered abbot, with his executed assassin at his feet. Mary Queen of Scots spent her last hours in Scotland here in May 1568, after the disastrous Battle of Langside.
Now a ruin, the 12th-century abbey was home to a community of Cistercian monks for 400 years. The peaceful woodland location fitted very much with the Cistercian ideal, described by Abbot Ailred of Rievaulx as: “Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world”.
What to see and do
- See the north and south transepts, the best-preserved late 12th-century Cistercian architecture in Scotland
- Admire the graceful architecture of the chapter house – from its elaborate entrance façade to its six finely moulded piers
- Relax and reflect on the Cistercian ideal amidst the peaceful beauty of this special setting
- Step inside our stone store to see the abbey’s carved stone collection
- Take our fun fact-finding quiz