Saints and Stones: Arbroath Abbey

Arbroath Abbey, in the Scottish town of Arbroath, was founded in 1178 by King William the Lion for a group of Tironensian Benedictine monks from Kelso Abbey. It was consecrated in 1197 with a dedication to the deceased Saint Thomas Becket, whom the king had met at the English court. It was William's only personal foundation. He was buried before the high altar of the church in 1214.

King William gave the Abbey independence from its mother church and endowed it generously. The Abbey's monks were allowed to run a market and build a harbour. King John of England gave the Abbey permission to buy and sell goods anywhere in England (except London) toll-free. Consequently, the Abbey became the richest in Scotland.

It is most famous for its association with the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, believed to have been drafted by Abbot Bernard, who was the Chancellor of Scotland under King Robert I.

The Abbey fell into ruin after the Reformation. From 1590 onward, its stones were raided for buildings in the town of Arbroath.

About Arbroath Abbey

Historic Scotland: Arbroath Abbey
Undiscovered Scotland: Arbroath Abbey
Wikipedia: Arbroath Abbey
Wikipedia: Tironensian Order
Wikipedia: Declaration of Arbroath

Journey to Arbroath Abbey

Arbroath Abbey is located in the town of Abroath off the A92 in Angus, Scotland.

Ordnance Survey Map (NO6422041309)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Historic Scotland Arbroath Abbey website. General tourist information may be found at the Dundee and Angus website.

Additional Photos of Arbroath Abbey

Welcome Sign at Entrance to Arbroath Abbey
Gatehouse Entrance, Guesthouse (left), and Regality Tower (right), Arbroath Abbey
West Front, Arbroath Abbey
Nave, Arbroath Abbey
Close-Up of Nave Arches, Arbroath Abbey
Remains of Nave Columns, Arbroath Abbey
Looking Back at the Nave and Inside of West Front, Arbroath Abbey
Presbytery and Choir, Arbroath Abbey
Arches in the Presbytery, Arbroath Abbey
Grave of William the Lion, King of Scots (1165 to 1214) at Arbroath Abbey
Sacristy (Left) and South Transept (Right), Arbroath Abbey
Sacristy, Arbroath Abbey
South Transept, Arbroath Abbey
The South Transept from the Inner Precinct, Arbroath Abbey
The Cloister, Arbroath Abbey
Remains of the Inner Precinct, Arbroath Abbey
The Largely Undestroyed Abbot's House, Arbroath Abbey
Stone Vaulting in Ground Floor of the Abbot's House, Arbroath Abbey
Unidentified Sculpture in Abbot's House, Arbroath Abbey
Decorated Screen from Church Altar Now Hanging in Abbot's House, Arbroath Abbey
Remains of Original Wall in Abbot's House, Arbroath Abbey
Copy of Declaration of Arbroath (1320) in Arbroath Abbey

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