The scant remains of St. Aebbe's Monastery are to be found on St. Abb's Head, a rocky promontory near the village of St. Abbs in the Scottish Borders of Scotland.
Aebbe established a monastery within the remains of a 6th Century fort known as Urbs Coludi (Colud's Fort), now known as Kirk Hill on St Abb's Head around 643 A.D. Both monks and nuns lived at the monastery in basic beehive huts made from mud and branches. This religious house lasted for about 40 years and was a double separate monastery of both monks and nuns governed by Aebbe. Legend says she became a nun to avoid the attentions of a certain Prince Aidan. However, he refused to give up his suit, and it is said that due to her prayers the tide stayed high around Kirk Hill for three days and protected her.
Aebbe was a great teacher and politician, bringing Christianity to the then pagan Angles who had been settling along the east coast of Britain since the 5th Century. She educated the ex-queen Aetheldreda, who later after graduating from Aebbe's tutelage established a religious site on which now stands Ely Cathedral.
Shortly after the death of Aebbe, and as foretold in prophesy by the monk Adamnan, in 683 A.D. the monastery burned down. The monastic site was abandoned, and by the first half of the 8th Century, as Bede confirms, the site was deserted.
About St. Aebbe's Monastery
Undiscovered Scotland: St. Abbs
Journey to St. Aebbe's Monastery
St. Aebbe's Monastery is located on St. Abb's Head, a rocky promontory near the village of St. Abbs off the B6438 in the Scottish Borders of Scotland. Just a third of a mile to the southeast of the lighthouse on St. Abb's Head is Kirk Hill. On the summit of this hill are the scant remains of the 7th Century monastery settlement of St. Aebbe. The settlement was protected by a massive 10 foot high turf rampart on the landward side. The remains of this rampart can be seen as a low ridge around the rim of the hill.
Undiscovered Scotland: Saint Aebbe
Wikipedia: Aebbe of Coldingham
Wikipedia: Kirk Hill
Ordnance Survey Map (NT9161569290)
Visitors information for St. Aebbe's Monastery may be found at the St. Abb's Visitor Centre website. General tourist information may be found at the Scottish Borders website.
Additional Photos of St. Aebbe's Monastery
Looking at St. Abb's Head, Site of St. Aebbe's Monastery
Statue of St. Aebbe in the Village of St. Abbs
Information Sign at St. Abb's Head, Site of St. Aebbe's Monastery
Map of St. Abb's Head Showing Kirk Hill, Site of St. Aebbe's Monastery
Approaching Site of St. Aebbe's Monastery
Scant Remains of St. Aebbe's Monastery Site
Close-Up of Scant Remains of St. Aebbe's Monastery Site