Silent Sunday…. Jedburgh Abbey


The River Jed Water flows below the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.  The Abbey itself stands in the middle of the Scottish Border town of the same name.  Jedburgh Abbey is one of a ring of Abbey’s to be found in this Border region close to the English Northumberland Border.

This Augustinian Monastery was founded in the early 14th century. Prospered then its fortunes waned.  But its downfall was more due to violence that swept this Border area in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s, eventually  it was the Scottish Reformation’s of 1544 that was to be the final  blow.

Today we are left with, what to me is, one of the most dramatic Abbey ruins.  Its shear size only becomes apparent when you walk through the remains of the West Door with its intricated carved stonework…


Then, on entering the nave, the shear height of the multi-columned walls leading to an arched Tower in the east, suddenly becomes a dramatic reality….


It is always hard to visualise the skills of the architects and stone masons of those times, who carved and built these sculptured column’s and arches…. but it is also so hard to visualise the way of life for the Religious Order the lived and worshiped within the Abbey and its attached community.

At last we can admire the legacy that still stands the test of time.

Wherever you are this Sunday….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

9th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday….. An Abbey in the Borders


Dryburgh Abbey, nr. Melrose in the Scottish Borders

Long before it became a ruin, Dryburgh Abbey was described as the most beautiful of the Border Abbey’s.  Maybe it has something to do with its woodland setting, in a bow in the River Tweed.  Or, it could be the creative use of the red tinged stone in which it is built.

Today there is very little left.  Not surprising as it has had a violent history.  Built in 1150 all started well for this Premonstratensian Order.  Being located in the Scottish Borders it later attracted unwanted attention from various English Arm aggressions.  Burnt down in 1322 then again in 1385.  Restored in the 1400’s it was subsequently destroyed in the 1560 Reformations. 

As you walk through the ruins you still gain an impression on just how impressive the Abbey must have been.  The stone carving is indeed intricate….. and that previous mentioned woodland setting just adds to the atmosphere that still exists in this fine Abbey.


Dryburgh Abbey may well have been destroyed,  since then,  it has been the chosen location for interment of several noteable Scots.   David Erskine the 11th Earl of Buchan, The Writer Sir Walter Scott and later Field Marshal Earl Douglas Haig……  a peaceful place to rest.

As on every Sunday and indeed everyday….

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st March

(C) David Oakes 2021

When is a Castle not a Castle ?



Floors Castle, Kelso, Roxburghshire,  The Sottish Borders

High above the famous River Tweed, on the fringe of the Scottish Border town of Kelso, stands the rather fine Scottish Floors Castle. It is an imposing building in an equally imposing location of gardens and a wider Country Estate.

But this is not a traditional Scottish Castle.  Built in 1721, for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe, to a design by the architect William Adam, it was in fact  designed as a rather fine ‘Country House’.  Those castle like features of Turrets and Battlements were added later in the 19th century., but it was never designed as a fortress.  No matter it is still a rather grand building.  Today I am told that Floors Castle is the largest inhabited ‘castle’ in Scotland.   It is also the  family home of the  11th Duke of Roxburghe.

The name Floors is rather intriguing.  I was told of two possible meanings.  Floors being the adaption of the French word  Fleurs  or flowers.  Todays  magnificent gardens would be a fitting tribute to that name.   The other possibility is the interpretation that Floors means Terraces, and Floors Castle is certainly built on  a high terrace above the Tweed.

The Scottish Borders are rich in history.  Nor can you travel far without tripping over a Castle or Abbey all in great scenery.  All well worth exploring …. if you do take a tour put Floors Castle on the top of your list.

As always….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

7th August

(C) David Oakes 2020