The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available!
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available! 

Kelso Abbey

Borders: In Kelso, on minor roads south of A698, north of River Tweed, at Kelso Abbey.

 

HES   NT 729338   OS: 74   TD5 7JF

 

OPEN: Open all year: Apr-Sep, daily 9.00-17.30; Oct-Mar, Wed-Sun 9.30-16.30.
Web: www.historicenvironment.scot

Kelso Abbey, once one of the most magnificent monastic buildings in Scotland, is now a shattered ruin in the Border burgh of Kelso. Kelso Abbey (© Martin Coventry)

Kelso Abbey was one of the richest and largest monastic establishments in Scotland, and was apparently also built for defence as well as worship, yet it is much more ruinous and fragmentary than the other Border abbeys. This was originally founded as a Tironensian abbey of the Blessed Virgin and St John in 1113 at Selkirk by David I, but was moved here in 1138.

Kelso Abbey, once one of the most magnificent monastic buildings in Scotland, is now a shattered ruin in the Border burgh of Kelso. Kelso Abbey (old postcard)

Much of the church and abbey were destroyed by the English in raids of 1544 and then in 1545. The Earl of Hertford ravaged the Borders with an army of mostly foreign mercenaries. He seized the burgh of Kelso, but the abbey was garrisoned and took refuge in the tower of the church. They held off the English army, but some of the garrison escaped by climbing down the walls with ropes, while others fought on. The remaining garrison was eventually overwhelmed, and taken prisoner before being put to the sword.
  The abbey was then partly dismantled by the English, and it was dissolved in 1560, while the property of the abbey eventually went to the Kerrs of Cessford. Mary, Queen of Scots, visited in 1566. The west transept was used as the parish church, but little else now remains.

Kelso Abbey, once one of the most magnificent monastic buildings in Scotland, is now a shattered ruin in the Border burgh of Kelso. Kelso Abbey (© Martin Coventry)

There were at least two bastle houses in the burgh of Kelso, and the burgh and abbey are marked on Blaeu’s map of Lauderdale as ‘Kailso’.
  One story is that the bells were hidden in the Tweed to stop them being stolen by English raiders, and that on stormy nights and in times of trouble the bells can be heard ringing.

Search also from Menu Bar

(sites, places, clans, names, Outlander, films, dates)

GOBLINSHEAD ONLINE SHOP

(coming soon…)

Contact

Goblinshead

Cockenzie House
22 Edinburgh Road
Cockenzie

EH32 0HY

 

Email: info@thecastlesofscotland.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Martin Coventry