Melrose Abbey, Roxburghshire, The Scottish Borders
Reflecting on past trips, Melrose and its Abbey came very much to mind. I guess I have to own up, I have always found these ruins of a once great Abbey rather special. Maybe because of its surroundings in the Tweed Valley, over shadowed by the mellow Laidlaw Hills. Maybe because it is also part of the busy border town of Melrose itself a town of great character.
Founded in the 11th century this Cistercian Abbey played an important community roll. Perhaps most importantly in the Famines of the 12th Century when the Abbey fed many thousands of people across the Borders.
As with so many of our Abbeys up and down the UK, we have to blame Henry VIII and his policy of dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 for their destruction.
Ruins they may be, but what remains is still a lasting testament to the craftsmen who built these massive structures so long ago. Skilful stone masons and hard labour in a time of limited tools and perhaps equally limited knowledge of building knowhow.
Significantly the importance of Melrose is perhaps underlined, as this was the place selected for the return of Robert The Bruce’s Heart. Robert The Bruce was King of the Scots from 1306 till his death in1329. His place in Scotland’s history firmly established when he led the First War of Independence against England.
A simple Plaque marks the spot
If your travels take you to Scotland and you have a chance to explore the Border Region (which is a must) then Melrose should be placed very high on your to do list. You will not be disappointed and if you do just take the opportunity to stand, pause and imagine.
Wherever you travel near to home or far away once more normal times return…
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2021