Kelso Abbey

Scottish Borders | Kelso | Abbey | ★★★

[Kelso Abbey]

What would a Borders town be without a ruined abbey? Like at local rivals Jedburgh and Melrose, magnificently-carved arches greet the visitor as they enter Kelso. Founded by Tironensian monks around 1128, this was once the grandest of all the region's monasteries, boasting two pairs of transepts with a colossal tower over each crossing - unique in Scotland and contrasting with the usual abbey layout of a single set of transepts separating choir and nave. Information panels help you visualise the layout, and unfortunately they're crucial: Kelso's proximity to the the English border meant the abbey suffered far more greatly than the great churches slightly further north or west. Apart from a recently-built cloister, only the west tower and transepts remain. There's just enough left of the ornate stonework to appreciate what an amazing building this once was, which makes its demise all the more saddening.

[Kelso Abbey]

📌 Kelso Abbey ★★★
Bridge Street / A699, Kelso town centre, G.R.: NT 728338 ///cutaway.charted.perused
Open daily, April to September; Saturday to Wednesday, October to March | Free

[Kelso Abbey]

[Kelso Abbey]

[Kelso Abbey]

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