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Sanctuaries of the Past: Delving into the History of Abbeys in Bowden and Beyond

In this blog post, we’re going to delve into the rich history of the abbeys that grace the border country surrounding Bowden House. These sanctuaries are steeped in centuries-old stories and offer a glimpse into the spiritual heritage of the Scottish Borders.



Jedburgh Abbey: A Unique Mix of Architectural Styles

Jedburgh Abbey is one of the four great abbeys established in the Scottish Borders in the 1100s. What sets Jedburgh Abbey apart is its unique combination of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. As you walk through its halls, take a look at the seamless fusion of rounded arches and pointed vaults, a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the era.


Melrose Abbey: Scotland's Iconic Ruin

Melrose Abbey is probably the most famous ruin in Scotland. It is a renowned landmark, and was founded in 1136 by David I for the Cistercian Order. Although largely destroyed by Richard II's English army in 1385, the surviving remains of the church, dating back to the early 15th century, are what makes this one of Scotland’s most celebrated. The magnificent ruin has an extraordinary exterior adorned with unique sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles, and even a bagpipe-playing pig! The Commendator's House is also well worth a visit, displaying some of the fascinating objects found during excavation. Moreover, within the abbey's grounds lies a commemorative carved stone plaque, believed to mark the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart.


Dryburgh Abbey: A Tranquil Haven of Gothic Grandeur

Established in 1150, Dryburgh Abbey is one of the most equisite Border abbeys to visit. Despite enduring the ravages of fire on three occasions, the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey remain remarkably intact and continue to offer a space of tranquility. Marvel at the meticulously crafted Gothic architecture, with the chapter house showcasing original paintwork dating back to its construction. These graceful ruins hold historical significance as the resting place of David Eskrine, the 11th Earl of Buchan and Sir Walter Scott, with no visit to Dryburgh Abbey complete without a visit to his tomb.


However long your stay at Bowden House B&B, a visit to the medieval abbeys of the Scottish Borders is a must-do day out. The unique architecture, cloisters and religious history make this a perfect day out – with a nice drive through the border country to top it all off!

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