Melrose Abbey Scotland was one of the richest and most powerful medieval abbeys in Scotland. Today's ruins are still in good shape and you see much of what it used to be. Don't miss getting up to the roof for a better view. Explore in photos and video:
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Melrose Abbey Scotland - Video
Let's start with short video exploring Melrose Abbey Scotland :
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Melrose Abbey Scotland
Because of its proximity to Edinburgh, it is one of the most popular attractions in Scotland. It is located in the heart of Melrose, a pretty town in the region called the Borders.
Melrose Abbey facts
- Melrose Abbey Scotland was one of the richest and powerful medieval abbeys
- The original monastery date back to 1136 - its was the first Cisterian monastery founded in Scotland
- The church was built following the destruction of the earlier building in 1385. They took advantage of it to build one of Scotland's most magnificent churches - more about the history here
- It was a major feat of construction with hundreds of skilled workers
- Masons and sculptors left their mark all around
- Robert the Bruce loved it so much that he chose it as the resting place for his heart (a cylinder was found and it is assumed it was his heart) - The rest of his body is in Dunfermine Abbey
- The abbey 79m (258ft) in length and 17m (57ft) at its highest point
Below is a map of Melrose Abbey as it used to look like:
Exterior of Melrose Abbey Scotland
You can walk all around Melrose Abbey so You can see the sheer size of the church from many angles.
Arches at Melrose Abbey Scotland
Melrose does not have as many arches as Jedburgh Abbey, but they are delicate and beautiful with different ton of stones.
Melrose Abbey church
The Church is really impressive, tall and with a very high ceiling. The atmosphere is strong and you can imagine the monks life as they used to walk inside.
The high of the central nave is really impressive.
Don't forget to look up at the presbytery ceiling. You will discover a pattern of risbs and arches decorated with saints, angles and the Holy trinity
If you can, do not miss the view from the roof of Melrose Abbey Scotland. You will have to climb 71 steps on a narrow staircase but the view is worth it.
Fore there you can see all the original details in the exterior of the building with sculptures and carvings.
You get a view of the church from above as well as a nice view of the surroundings:
Form the top you also get to see closer its most famous ornament: the bagpipe-playing Melrose Pig.
Other ornaments include a fat monk, a musician with a luth, a cook, a mason, dragons and gargoyles.
If you enjoy visiting abbeys, also consider Jedburgh Abbey and Sweetheart Abbey for your itinerary.
And you could add the the loop The Traquair House that is not to far. Natasha mentions how she has a great time in her Southern Scotland article.
Want to see more of SCOTLAND?
Discover more things to do & places to see in my Travel Scotland Destination Guide.
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