Crossraguel Abbey

Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page

Main Entrance Cloister & church Abbot's Residence
Approaching the former entrance of the abbey Reconstruction of the abbey entrance by Andrew Spratt
Crossraguel Abbey was founded by Earl Duncan of Carrick in the 13th century and colonised by monks from the Cluniac abbey at Paisley. The Cluniac order originated in Burgundy at the Abbey of Cluny which was one of the first to emerge out of the Dark Ages. It was a strict order concentrating on elaborate rounds of prayer. Only two other such orders existed in Scotland, one on the Isle of St Mary and the other in Paisley.
Crossraguel Abbey seen from the other side of the former main entrance
The abbey buildings were badly damaged in the Wars with England in the early fourteenth century. In 1404 Crossraguel became a regality and its abbot the most influential person in Ayrshire. The church choir, chapter house and other parts of the cloister were rebuilt in the fifteenth century. The last abbot, William Kennedy, died in 1547, before the Reformation Parliament of 1560 effectively ended monastic life in Scotland. The last monk, John Bryce, passed away about 1602. The name of the abbey is probably derived from "Cross of Riaghail" referring to an ancient great standing cross.
The dovecot behind the main entrance tower View of the main entrance tower from across the cloister
Mary probably did not visit Crossraguel Abbey during her trip to the area, but its lay Commendator Alan Stewart, supported her cause after she fled to England.
Open from April to September. Closed Thursdays PM and Fridays. Tel.: 44+ (0)1655 883113.

Back to more places