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Melrose Abbey

Overview

Melrose Abbey is one of the four ruined Border Abbeys built in the 12th century by David 1st. The Abbey was burnt in the 14th century and rebuilt in the 15th, but was abandoned in the 16th century. It was one of the wealthiest monasteries in Scotland. 

Melrose Abbey is also the burial place of King Robert the Bruce’s heart, the burial spot being marked with a commemorative stone plaque. A lead casket containing an embalmed heart was discovered in 1921 and it has since been confirmed to be the King’s heart.  Bruce had requested that his heart be removed and carried to the Holy Land by his loyal friend Sir James Douglas. Unfortunately, neither Sir James or the heart made it as far as Jerusalem as they went to Spain to fight against the invading Moors. According to legend, Sir James was caught in a surprise attack by the Moors. He soon realised the odds were against him, so he threw Bruce's Heart ahead of him and charged into battle crying "Lead on brave heart, I'll follow thee". Sir James's body and the heart were returned to Scotland and buried at Melrose Abbey, as per King Robert's dying wish. In case you are wondering, the rest of King Robert lies buried in Dunfermline Cathedral.

There is also a small museum at the Abbey with artefacts found during the excavations. 

Melrose Abbey is in the town centre of Melrose and is easily found. Good views of the abbey are available from the southern perimeter, if you don't wish to pay the entrance fee to the grounds.

Remember to lookout for the Gargoyle which features a pig playing bagpipes.

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass

Address:

Abbey Street, Melrose TD6 9LG, Scottish Borders

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April to 30 September, Daily 9.30am to 5.30pm 1 October to 31 March, Monday to Sunday 10am to 4pm Last tickets sold 30 mins before closing time. Closed 25th, 26th December and 1st, 2nd January.

Admission:

Adult £ 6.00, Child £ 3.60, Senior £ 4.80

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

English

Accessibility:

Uneven grounds of grass.

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

No, but cafes are nearby in Melrose

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