Discover the history of Kinloss Abbey

The ruins of a beautiful Abbey lie within the picturesque setting of Kinloss village.  It is a must visit for history fans and lovers of fantastic scenery when staying at Carden Cottages in the Moray area.

The fantastic remains of Kinloss Abbey lies in the beautiful landscape of Kinloss | Credit: Valenta

The Cistercian Abbey is a great place to visit to learn about history, folklore and to admire the beautiful ruins and surroundings.

The Kinloss Abbey was founded in 1150 by King David I of Scotland.  He was said to be hunting nearby when he was separated from the rest of his party.  Then, lost in the thick woodland that used to cover the majority of that area, he prayed for guidance.

It is said that he was then led by a dove to a shelter belonging to some shepherds where he spent the night.  During his slumber, he apparently dreamt that he was instructed to establish a church to give thanks for his rescue and marked out the plan of the Abbey with his sword the next morning, before leaving to find his party at Duffus Castle.

After he told his nobles of his vision, he called architects and masons that were working on various royal projects and ordered that the Kinloss Abbey would be created.  He remained at Duffus to oversee his project, until he was called away by other affairs.

The idea for Kinloss Abbey came to King David I of Scotland in a dream | Credit: Wikimedia

When King David I had to leave, he sent to Melrose for a monk, whom he set in charge over his builders and the rising monastery, of which he was afterwards made the first Abbot.

Upon visiting today, you can see that only ruins remain where the once richest Abbey in Scotland used to stand.  The remains of the South Transept with associated Chapel and the Sacristy with the Prior’s Chamber above can all be found and admired in Kinloss.

At the south and west are two near complete cloister walls one containing the Lavatorium and archway into the Refectory.  South of the Abbey, outside the cemetery is Abbot’s House.

From ground level you can see the remains of most of the foundations or low walls of the Abbey including the south wall of the church, the north Transept and many of the columns within the Nave.

Kinloss Abbey is surrounded by beautiful countryside | Credit: Kinloss Abbey Trust

Walking around the Abbey grounds, you can see information boards that are full of interesting facts that help guide you through the ruins.

Entrance to the Abbey grounds is free and is cared for by the Kinloss Abbey Trust.

Kinloss Abbey is only a 10 minute drive from Carden Cottages, and only around a 5 minute drive from Forres, where you can visit other historical sites such as Nelson’s Tower and Sueno’s Stone.

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