Abbey - Factsheet
the feast of St Laurence Richard II, King of England, sick at
heart that the Scots and French were plundering his land so
assembled a large army and entered Scotland at
the age of 19.
He advanced at the midst of his arrogant host, destroying everything
on all sides and saving nothing. He burnt to ashes with consuming
flames churches devoted to God and monastic sanctuaries, namely
Dryburgh, Melrose and Newbattle, and the noble royal town of
Bowers Scotichronicon on Richard IIs invasion
abbey, four miles south-east of Melrose, belonged to the Premonstratensian
Order (or White Canons). They were founded by St Norbert in
1119 at Prémontré, near Laon, in north-eastern
France. Quickly approved by the Papacy, the order rapidly spread
a stricter and purer form of the rule of St Augustine, supplemented
with ideas drawn from the Cistercians. It was a life of tremendous
austerity, abstinence, fasting and mortification, all dedicated
to the contemplation of God. This type of devotion is apparent
in the fact that the abbey only had one fireplace to warm the
monks throughout the long, Scottish winters.
Hugo de Morville, one of the Normans who was granted vast estates
across the south of Scotland by King David I, established the
first community of Premonstratensians at Dryburgh. Bringing
them from Alnwick in Northumbria, which in the reign of David
I was effectively part of the Scottish kingdom.
the rigours of monastic life, Dryburgh established an international
intellectual reputation through Adam Scot, Abbot of Dryburgh,
and his works on the nature of God and Biblical exegesis.
Dryburgh was burnt to the ground by Edward II of England in
1322 after his army camped at there on their way home following
a fruitless invasion of Scotland. Robert the Bruce picked up
the tab for the damage, but the abbey was destroyed once again
by Richard II as he swept through the Borders in punishment
for Scots raids on the North of England.
Dryburgh has survived its frequent depredations.
It has retained some of the best preserved outbuildings of any
monastery in Scotland - such as its Chapterhouse (pictured right).
the monastery's church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, lies in
almost total ruin. Within its surviving aisle lies the tomb
of the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott and his family; nearby
lies Earl Haig, the controversial commander of the British forces
in the First World War.
- Around Dryburgh
was one of Walter Scotts favourite walks. Nearby is a statue
of William Wallace located at Scotts Outlook, a scenic vantage
point which looks out over the Tweed Valley and Old Melrose to
the Eildon Hills. According to legend it was Scotts ancestor,
the wizard Michael Scott, who split the hill into three peaks.
Jedburgh Abbey and Kelso Abbey
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