Arbroath Abbey, Angus, Scotland
There isn’t that much left of what was once one of, if not THE most important Abbeys in Scotland’s history. What is left is certainly worth a visit and a chance to stand where real Scottish history was written.
It was 1178 that King William The Lion of Scotland commanded, and funded, the building of the Abbey on a headland above the town and overlooking the North Sea. It was a Benedictine Abbey and its consecration took place in 1197. Throughout his life King William kept faith with the community and provided funds for its upkeep. On his Death he was buried in the body of the Church, a memorial stone marking his grave.
The next important date for Arbroath was 1320 when the Declaration of Scottish Independence was drawn up by Abbot Bernard, the Chancellor of Scotland.
But all this history was nearly lost for ever, like all such religious Abbeys and Monasteries, it suffered on the orders King Henry VIII when he declared action against such establishments with the Dissolution Act of 1540.
Thankfully there is still enough of the red sandstone Abbey remaining to give you an impression of its size, even the Chancellors Offices remain in one of the towers.
(C) David Oakes 2020