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Melrose Abbey

Magnificent ruin on a grand scale with lavishly decorated masonry

Melrose Abbey

The Commendator’s House Museum is temporarily closed.

Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, with lavishly decorated masonry.

It was founded by King David I in 1136, as the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland. The spot was chosen due to its association with the early Christian monastery at nearby Old Melrose founded by St Aidan in about 640.

The abbey grew rich on the wool trade, suffered through the Wars of Independence, and was substantially rebuilt in the 1380s. It continued in use as an abbey until the Protestant Reformation of 1560. After that, the existing monks were allowed to stay on: the last one died in 1590.

The abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, which is marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque. Visitors can also visit a small museum housing a display of artefacts found within the abbey.


  • The graceful architecture of the abbey church – among Britain’s finest church architecture of the late 1300s.
  • The charming sculpture – most notably the famous bagpipe-playing Melrose pig.
  • The chapter house – where the heart of Robert the Bruce is believed to be buried.
  • The Commendator’s House Museum – a rich collection of medieval objects found in the abbey cloister.

Download Sample AudioTour
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MP3, audio file Audio tour - track 1
MP3, audio file Audio tour - track 2
MP3, audio file Audio tour - track 3
MP3, audio file Audio tour - track 4
MP3, audio file Audio tour - track 5

Ask about the full audio tour on your visit. Available from Melrose Abbey in English, French, German, Italian & Spanish

Green Tourism Award - Silver


Region – Scottish Borders
Postcode: TD6 9LG

Opening arrangements

1 April - 30 September, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

1 October - 31 March , Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Admission prices

All year
Adult £5.50, Child £3.30, Concession £4.40

Events at Melrose Abbey

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27 March 2015

The Honours of Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

Event information

Allan Ramsay - Master Draughtsman

Duff House

Event information