Lindores Abbey in The Kingdom of Fife
in north Fife, on the banks of the River Tay, has had a settlement
or a village on the present site from a period much earlier than
the end of the twelfth century, but it was at this time that the
village grew in importance, due to the founding of Lindores Abbey.
Perhaps the most important and historic event ever witnessed at
Lindores Abbey was the meeting here in 1306 of three puissant
knights, Sir Gilbert Hay of Errol, Sir Neil Campbell of Lochaw,
and Sir Alexander Seton, and the sealing before the high altar
of the vow they made to " defend the King Robert Bruce and his
crown to the last of their blood and fortunes. "
William Wallace was also here when he stole hither out of Black
Earnside Wood for water for his wounded men. And in Newburgh tradition,
the Clatchard Craig, which faces the Abbey with a sheer cliff
of two hundred feet, is pointed to as the stone whereon he whetted
his great two-handed sword !
Lindores Abbey, which was once a wealthy Abbey, older and more
famed than Balmerino, is now deserted and in ruins. Yet, Kings
Warriors and Statesman who had a considerable part to play in
Scottish history have frequented this ancient site. Brave
men have walked here. Brave words have been spoken here, and for
centuries men worshipped and praised God in this now inconspicuous
David, Duke of Rothesay, the ill-fated heir to the throne was
quickly buried here in 1401 after having been put to death in
Falkland Palace. For many years James the ninth and last of the
line of the " Black Douglases, " found retirement here.
David, Earl of Huntingdon, was the founder of this Benedictine
House of the Tyronesian Order, which was colonised by monks from
Kelso at the end of the 12th century and dedicated to St Mary
and St Andrew in gratitude for the taking of Ptolemais in
Palestine. Other visitors were William the Lyon; the second and
third Alexanders, one of whom brought interdict on Lindores and
Scotland through his quarrel with the Pope, while the other had
his son and heir buried here.
Edward I, the " Hammer of the Scots, " was here in 1296. Lindores
also saw David II, many Stuart sovereigns, including of course,
Mary. Before her visit, and angry Dundee mob had, in 1543, assailed
the abbey, ejecting the monks and destroying much of the furnishings.
The most famous Abbot was the great theologian and inquisitor
Lawrence, one of the founders of St Andrews University.
The village of Newburgh was erected into a burgh-of-barony by
Alexander III, in 1266 in favour of the Abbot and Convent of Lindores.
In 1457 it was converted into a royal burgh. In 1631 Charles I,
confirmed the ancient royal charter, but the burghers never exercised
their right of sending a member to the Scottish Parliament. In
the wall of a building in Newburgh High Street, and facing north,
is an interesting relic of Lindores Abbey. It shows a badge with
a shield above surmounted by a crosier or pastoral staff. The
badge is the same as was borne by the ancient Earls of Warwick
- namely the bear and ragged staff. The stone must have at one
time been part of the Abbey's decorations or the Abbot's residence.
The bear in the stone harks back to the time of Arthur and the
Round Table. One of his knights was Arthgal, whose name in the
British language was Arsh or Narsh, signifying a bear. The ragged
staff is attributed to Morvidus, an earl of the same family remarkable
for his courage and skill, who slew a formidable giant by means
of a young tree, which by his great strength he had torn up for
I was just looking at your site and on the whisky page you mention
friar john cor (1494 first record of whisky making) it was actually
Lindores Abbey at Newburgh rather than Dunfermline,just thought
you would like to know. Yours aye Drew mckenzie-smith
If you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized
small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me:
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