Photos and the City

destination photography & travel

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

After visiting Kelso and Floors Castle I decided to do a little detour and got out of the bus halfway to walk a bit of the Abbey Walk along the River Tweed until I reached Dryburgh Abbey near St. Boswells.

surrounded on three sides by a loop in the River Tweed, means that by road the journey is one of several miles. The sense of seclusion this brings is one of the great joys of Dryburgh Abbey. As a result of it you can begin to gain some sense of what a life of contemplation might have been like for the monks who lived and worshipped here. (Undiscovered Scotland)

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

It was about 40 minutes to walk until I reached the Abbey and is a very secluded and beautiful location, very peaceful and calm. At least today, in the mediaeval times the abbey was destroyed several times by the English.

The abbey was established by Premonstratensian canons in 1150. Hugh de Moreville, Constable of Scotland and Lord of Lauderdale, had invited them to this idyllic spot from Alnwick Priory, Northumberland. (Moreville was himself an incomer from England.)

Dryburgh became the premier house in Scotland of the French order, which was established by St Norbert of Xanten in 1121 at Prémontré. Its six Scottish houses also included Whithorn Priory.

Dryburgh was never as wealthy or influential as the abbeys at Kelso, Jedburgh and Melrose, and monastic life was on the whole pretty quiet. (Historic Environment  Scotland)

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

Situated in the Scottish Borders the Abbey suffered several attacks and was rebuilt until the Protestant Reformation of 1560 effectively ended monastic life at Dryburgh Abbey. By 1584, just two brethren remained alive.

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

In the 18th century, the romantic ruin attracted David Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan and chief founder of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He bought Dryburgh House and started to create a charming landscape with the abbey figured prominently.

He died in 1829, he was laid to rest in its sacristy. His very good friend Sir Robert Scott died in 1832 and his tomb is in the north transept. (pictured above)

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

The remains of the abbey were acquired by the Earl of Buchan in 1786. He worked to preserve what was left, and built within and around it a large formal garden. Like many early antiquarians, he couldn’t resist the temptation to “improve” the ruins. An inscribed date of 1150 owes more to him than to the original builders. He also built the obelisk to the south of the abbey, to commemorate its foundation by Hugh de Moreville. (Undiscovered Scotland)

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

Today Dryburgh Abbey is under the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

And I had to leave this romantic place and make my way back toward the bus stop on the other side of the River Tweed and the other side of the hill.

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, a romantic ruin and the grave of Sir Walter Scott.

 

 

Kelso Abbey in the town Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!

Kelso

Kelso is a market town in the Scottish Borders about 20 miles from Galashiels or an around 50 minutes bus trip through stunning countryside. Kelso lies on the confluence of the river Tweed and Teviot and is known for its large French-style market square, the largest market square in Scotland.

In the 12th century, Kelso Abbey was founded and the town grew alongside with the arrival of the monks.

Standing on the opposite bank of the River Tweed from the now-vanished royal burgh of Roxburgh, Kelso and its sister hamlet of Wester Kelso were linked to the burgh by a ferry at Wester Kelso. A small hamlet existed before the completion of the abbey in 1128 but the settlement started to flourish with the arrival of the monks. (Wikipedia)

Kelso Abbey in the town Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!

The Abbey controlled the life in Kelso, at one point there was even a beer-tax in favour of the parish. After the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century, the power and the wealth of the Abbey declined.

The Kerr family of Cessford took over the barony and many of the abbey’s properties around the town. By the 17th century, they virtually owned Kelso. (Wikipedia)

Kelso Abbey in the town Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!

Sir Walter Scott went to grammar school in Kelso and called “it is the most beautiful if not the most romantic village in Scotland”.

Kelso Abbey in the town Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!

 

Floors Castle

I walked the Cobby Riverside Walk from Kelso Town Center to Floors Castle, it´s about 2 miles and a  lovely walk. Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and is home to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe. But it´s more a big country house than a castle, situated within the two rivers, built in 1721 by William Adam, for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe. Before that, there was probably a tower house on the grounds. Opposite Floors Castle are the ruins of Roxburgh Castle, which was destroyed by the Scots in 1460.

The magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his family

The family of the current Duke of Roxburghe still lives in Floors Castle and opened some of the rooms for the public. It´s a beautiful walk through the park and the Victorian walled gardens, but I was a little bit disappointed by the inside. There are just a small handful of rooms able to visit and then you´re in the shop.

But as said the park and gardens are stunning and well worth a visit. Like Abbotsford House Floors Castle is part of the Historic Houses and it would be smart to become a member when you want to visit more than one.

The magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his familyThe magnificent Floors castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Scotland - the city with the biggest market square in Scotland!. Home of the Duke of Roxburghe and his family