Melrose Abbey, or to give it its Sunday name “Saint Marys Abbey” can be found in one of the most idyllic settings of any Abbey. Above the banks of the River Tweed and in the shadow of the Eildon Hills the Cistercian Monks who founded the Abbey in 1136 chose the location well. Built under the instruction of King David I of Scotland it became an important religious and civic centre for many centuries.
Like so many others, Melrose Abbey did see much conflict. Being in the heart of the Scottish Border country (in Roxburghshire) it did not, perhaps could not, escape involvement in the constant Scottish/England power struggles…but perhaps it was Oliver Cromwell assault during the Civil Wars of the 16th Century that brought an end to monastic life at Melrose.
No visitor to the Scottish Borders should miss the opportunity to visit Melrose, whilst the town itself has much to enjoy, it is the peaceful location of the Abbey that demands a pause to reflect and enjoy.
(C) David Oakes 2017