Melrose Abbey

Known for its distinctive decorative details, Melrose Abbey is a partially ruined former Cistercian monastery. Cared for by Historic Environment Scotland, the abbey can trace its history back to the 12th century. Designed in the gothic style, many Scottish monarchs and nobles are buried at the abbey. It also claims to have the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce.

Melrose Abbey was founded for the Cistercian Order of Monks in 1136 but was mostly destroyed in the 14th century by two separate attacks by English armies.

The ruin offers the visitor a chance to see the unusual decorated stonework – look out for hobgoblins, a pig playing the bagpipes and cooks with ladles. Robert the Bruce was involved in its restoration after the first attack in the 14th century and his embalmed heart is said to be buried in the Chapter House of the Abbey. Visit the Commendator’s House Museum in the grounds to see lots of artefacts and learn more about the history of the Abbey.

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