Saints and Stones: Deer

Deer Abbey was founded in 1219 A.D. by William Comyn, the Earl of Buchan. He invited Cistercian monks from Kinloss Abbey in Moray to set up a daughter house here.

The Abbey is located some two miles from the original monastery founded by St. Drostan in the 6th Century. Drostan was a follower of St. Columba. Legend has it that Columba and Drostan founded the monastery together, but there is much doubt regarding this claim. The original monastery is most famously associated with the 9th Century gospel book known as the Book of Deer (Deir), the author probably a monk at Deer during the eighth century. Nothing exists today of the original monastery.

Today, all that remains of the Abbey church is the stonework outline. Some of the other buildings have fared better with time and give some indication of their former appearance.

Like other Scottish abbeys, Deer's useful life came to an end with the Reformation in 1560.

About Deer

Historic Scotland: Deer Abbey
Undiscovered Scotland: Deer Abbey
Wikipedia: Deer Abbey
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Abbey of Deer
Wikipedia: Book of Deer
The Book of Deer Project
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Cistercians
Firth's Celtic Scotland: St. Drostan of Deer
Wikipedia: Old Deer

Journey to Deer

Deer Abbey is located on the A950 two miles west of the small town of Mintlaw in the northeastern region of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Ordnance Survey Map (NJ968481)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found on the Historic Scotland Deer Abbey website. General tourist information may be found on the Aberdeen City and Shire website.

Additional Photos of Deer

Road Sign Near Deer Abbey
Descriptive Sign at Deer Abbey
Sign Inside Deer Abbey
The Ruins of Deer Abbey and the Aberdeenshire Countryside
Doorway Into the Refectory
Inside Wall of the Refectory
Outside Wall of the Refectory
The Ruins of Deer Abbey
The Ruins of Deer Abbey
Ruins of the Church
Doorway Into the Abbey Kitchen
Carved Stone in Surrounding Wall
Arch Among the Ruins
Wall Surrounding Deer Abbey

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