Scottish Churches and Ruined Abbeys - South
A lovely setting in Scotland's only Lake and one of the
childhood homes of Mary Queen of Scots
is a lovely ruined priory set on a small wooded island in
the Lake of Monteith, and reached by a small boat.
It was settled in the C12th by Augustinian canons who wanted to be isolated from the world to worship God. The church was built first, followed by the rest of the monastic buildings. It was close to Stirling, a key centre of power in medieval Scotland. Robert the Bruce visited three times and Mary Queen of Scots was bought here as a child by her mother, Mary of Guise, following a defeat of the Scottish army by the English.
The Protestant Reformation of 1560 brought monastic life to an end. In the 1800s, the romantic writings of people like Sir Walter Scott turned this into a tourist attraction.
The church walls survive to almost their full height.
Little is left of the cloisters although the chapter house survived as it was used as a mausoleum in the 1600s, and also the warming house.
The Priory is in the care of Historic Scotland, and is open end of March until the end of September. The nearest postal code is FK8 3RD and the grid reference is NN 574005.
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