Back way back when, I used to come to Melrose at least once a year with a party of school children, I've played rugby there (and won!), driven through and round it numerous times but never really looked at the Abbey apart from in passing.
High time to put that right. It is quite a significant monument in Scottish history. Several Kings are buried there, but it is probably most famous for being the burial site of Robert the Bruce's heart; the rest of him is buried in Dunfermline Abbey. The heart is thought to have been bought back from the Crusades to be buried there, which is more than a bit odd!
However, it was 6 (yes SIX!) pounds to go in to look around. Its some ruins in a field! How can they justify that much (see Stonehenge too)? They are ruins! By definition there's no up-keep. A bit of mowing perhaps to keep the grounds looking half decent but I can't see where the money goes. Needless to say I was too tight to pay. I thought it was just my usual meanness but the week after we went friends were moaning about the same thing. They had the same solution too. If you walk to the right of the Abbey there is a little path that allows you to see pretty much everything you could see from inside the fence but, maybe, from 10 metres further away.
It is the best part of a thousand years old, being completed in 1136 by the cistercian monks. In the early(ish) 16th century the English sacked vast areas of southern Scotland in an attempt to get the infant Scottish Queen Mary (Mary Queen of Scots) to marry Henry VII's son Edward who would become Edward VI of England and so give Henry one of his life long ambitions of bringing Scotland into his realm and limit the power and influence of the French. All this was known as the rough wooing.
One of the upshots of all of this was the destruction of what was a very rich abbey and, with the reformation on the rise, the Abbey was never restored.
Next door is the Priorwood Gardens, which presumably were once the orchard and gardens of the prior of the abbey. These are free and well worth a few minutes for a mooch around. They are Scotland's only garden dedicated to dried flower arranging. I know! Who knew there was such a thing?
Its not very big but is nice, compact and full of stuff. Perfect for some close up or macro work.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.