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Tour Kelso Abbey

Kelso Abbey Scotland

Founded by David I in 1128 for the Tironensian order
of monks, Kelso Abbey was the largest and wealthiest
of the great Border abbeys. It was often attacked by the
English, and the buildings were even evacuated for a
while during the Wars of Independence.

In 1460 James III was crowned in the abbey and
during the 16th century it was all but destroyed by the
English. In 1545, the Earl of Hereford attacked the
abbey, killed everybody in the garrison, including 12
monks, and burned it to the ground. The building was
further mutilated during the Reformation, and is now
in ruins. It is, nonetheless, an excellent piece of
Romanesque architecture.

The abbey’s design is unique in Scotland with both
western and eastern transepts and a tower over both
crossings. The Vatican archives still have a written
description of the abbey in its heyday when it had 40


If you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me:

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