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Photographer's Note

The original site of the Abbey was 4 miles down the River Tweed, just below Scott's View. Founded by St Aidan in about A.D. 660, it's first prior was St Boisil who was succeeded by St Cuthbert, the apostle of the Borders, who dwelt there until 664 when he became prior of Lindesfarne.

Later, when St Cuthbert died, it became one of his resting places before his body was taken to the place where Durham Cathedral was founded. Then in 1131, David I, King of Scots, encouraged the Cistercian monks who had been sent by Bernard of Clairvaux from France to found a new abbey on the present site below the Eildon Hills. It was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin on Sunday 28 July 1146.

Richard II, in retaliation for a raid by the Scots in 1385, sent a force North of the border which "saved nothing and burnt down with fiery flames God's temples and holy places - to wit the monastries of Melrose, Dryburgh and Newbattle"

Work started on the complete rebuilding of the abbey almost as soon as Richard's forces had left, and it is the remains of this new building seen today.

There is much of interest in the abbey precinct including the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, and the Commendators House of 1590, now a museum.
Restoration of the abbey was carried out under the direction of Sir Walter Scott in 1822.

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Additional Photos by James Crompton (BigCrompy) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 35 N: 54] (270)
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