Life Style

Visit Scotland's Grandest Ruined & Abandoned Abbey

Somewhere within the coastal Scottish town of Kilwinning is definitely an eye-catching ruined abbey. The Kilwinning Abbey would be a Tironensian Benedictine monastic community whose abbey was dedicated to Saint Winning and also the Virgin Mary. Today it stands among the most eye-catching of the catholic ruins of Scotland standing as a testimony to the country's pre-Protestant past.

Scottland is a stunning destination – not just because of its whiskey tours and vaunted Highlands but in addition for its architecture and ruins. In Scotland, one can find ancient Scottish Iron-age “skyscrapers” and forgotten Roman ruins.

Options to consider About The Kilwinning Abbey

Nestled in the heart of Kilwinning town are the remains from the peaceful home of Tironensian monks (named Tiron within the diocese of Chartres). The monks lived there for approximately 400 many were first founded within the late 1100s.

  • Founded: In The 1100s
  • Colonized: The Abbey Was Colonized By Monks From The Kelso Abbey (Now And in Ruins)
  • St. Winnin: The Man Who Is Thought To Have First Founded A Church There

The abbey was first colonized with monks in the also spectacular and foreboding Kelso Abbey. Kelso Abbey is among Scotland's great Borders abbeys.

Kilwinning means “the church of Winnin” – according to tradition, St. Winnin would be a holy man who first set a church there long ago in the 700s. The current abbey was established between 1162 and 1168. The sooner church has become completely gone save for parts of a carved stone cross dating to around 900. The stone cross artifact is housed within the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre at Saltcoats.

Many from the abbeys of the period were founded by monarchs, but Kilwinning comes from more humble beginnings and wasn't regally founded. Clues for this can be seen in the frequent changes in masonry types in the ruins.

Despite its humbler beginnings, many still regard Kilwinning as one of the grandest abbeys of Scotland.

“Casting Down” From the Abbey

Like a lot of abbeys and monasteries around Great Britain, it was 'cast down' following a Protestant Reformation of 1560. Today its ruins stand because the roost for crows and as a testimony towards the times gone by.

  • 'Cast Down': Within the Wake of The Protestant Reformation of 1560

In 1513 the abbey was plundered by the Earls of Glencairn and Angus by using it suffering more damage within the 1540s. But the real harm to the 400-year-old abbey arrived 1559 when the Earl of Glencairn led a raid on the abbey.

In the raid, its vestments, books, statues, pictures, and other items were said to have been taken off the abbey and burned. The abbey is considered to possess been assaulted in 1562 within an operation supposedly instigated by the famous Scottish Protestant reformer John Knox. By 1592 the abbey had largely been reduced to ruins although the nave was repaired and used as the parish kirk until 1775.

Most from the damage seen towards the abbey today is more the product of neglect and abandonment with the wind and weather taking their toll through the years. Its ruin was hastened by the practical requirement for building materials.

Visiting The Kilwinning Abbey

The ruins from the Kilwinning Abbey are open year-round and are liberated to visit. Today the best-preserved areas of that old abbey are its magnificent south transept.

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Year-Round / Always Open
  • Location: Kilwinning, North Ayrshire

Kilwinning Abbey was particularly notable because of its towers – it had three towers. The abbey's northwest bell tower collapsed in 1814, the impressive stone tower seen there today is really a replacement clock tower.

Stay In the Living Scottish Benedictine Pluscarden Abbey

For individuals who want to uncover the current Catholic tradition in Scotland, consider visiting Pluscarden Abbey. One can stay free of charge in this Catholic Benedictine monastery founded in 1230 – they've separate accommodation for men and women guests.
Guests stay for free but are likely to help the monks out with the chores round the abbey. Here one can pay attention to the neighborhood monks perform the famous Gregorian Chant.

  • Setting: Within the Glen Of The Black Burn
  • Gregorian Chant: “The Mass and Full Divine Office” Is Chanted Each Day
  • Sevices: The 8 Daily Services Are Available to All
  • Women Hosted: In St. Scholica's Retreat Just In the future In the Abbey
  • Men Hosted: Through the Abbey Itself
  • Men's Meals: Distributed to The Monks (Women's Self-Catered)

It should be noted that this is really a working Monastery and also the monks have daily work and chores. It is no party destination. Silence is usually observed in the Refectory, the Church, and other monastic areas. Guests are asked to not disturb the meditation and reflection of other guests choosing the atmosphere from the Abbey.

Next: The Monastery Is among the Most Iconic In Italy (And it is More Impressive Personally)

You may also like