Crossraguel Abbey

My recent trip home to Scotland wasn’t all party-party ye ken. Oh all right, MOST of it was party-party, but I did do some sightseeing and cultural stuff too. Despite Crossraguel Abbey being right on my doorstep (25 miles or so away) I had never visited before. I had driven past it many times, but never stopped and went in to explore. We have so much history and heritage around us we get kind of blasé about ancient buildings. It’s only now that I no longer live there that I appreciate how fabulous all of these buildings are what a great job organisations like Historic Scotland do at maintaining them.

I’m not going to go into the history of Crossraguel, mainly because I’d probably get it all wrong and this is a photography blog. I recommend you read about it here:

or here

Anyway I had a fabulous time exploring all the rooms and photographing everything I could. Unfortunately the main building (the church) was under scaffolding so I didn’t get any photographs of that, but if you Google Crossraguel you can see how impressive it is when not covered in scaffolding.

Crossraguel 1
Stonework, door and window details at Crossraguel
Crossraguel 9
Details of the Tower House

Crossraguel 8

View of part of the Abbey and the Tower House with the beautiful Ayrshire countryside in the background.

Crossraguel 4
The Dovecote

Crossraguel 10

Coo’s oan the wa’…. or translated to cows on the wall. Hah, not actually. They’re on the hill behind the Abbey but I liked how they seemed to be walking along the wall. the plaque on the wall here reads “ABOTT’S HOUSE. A series of cellars at ground level originally supported the Abbot’s apartments above.”

Crossraguel 2

Crossraguel 3

Actually I’m not sure what this was – I should have photographed the plaque and not just the hole. At first I thought it was a well, but I think I remember reading that it was actually a tomb and it’s just filled with water. I told you I’d get it wrong….

Crossraguel 5

Inside the Chapter House. How fabulous is the stonework, the windows and the arched ceiling?

Crossraguel 7

Some broken stone and pieces of carving dating back to the 12th century.

Crossraguel 6

The plaque on the left reads “A double tomb marker, with two elaborate crosses, a sword, shield and pike. The shield bore a chevron as the main charge, suggesting that the tomb commemorated members of the House of Kennedy.”

The plaque on the righ reads “The tombstone of Sir William Geruan, Priest, who died 9th April 1340. Sir William may have been vicar of one of the Abbey’s churches in Carrick. Note the chalice and paten.”

With the arrival of the Reformation in 1560, Crossraguel’s life as an active religious community came to an end. The last abbot, Quintin Kennedy, died in 1564 and a commendator, Alan Stewart, was appointed by the Crown to oversee the land and property owned by the abbey.

In 1569 Stewart signed over the abbey, its lands and revenues to Gilbert Kennedy, the 4th Earl of Cassilis. According to a complaint later made by Stewart to the Privy Council, his agreement was only extracted by the Earl by roasting him over a fire at Dunur Castle.

14 thoughts on “Crossraguel Abbey

    1. This would have been a great blog if I knew all the history and could remember what all the photographs I took were actually of. I guess I’ll never make a good history blogger.
      Did you read the last paragraph? How funny is that – he was roasted until he signed over the Abbey to the evil Earl.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting contracting methods you Scots have (I think I am now scared of you). Modern Scots aren’t much better. Fires are probably made under that bridge to roast the Coo’s oan the wa alive. And the sense of public indecency of the Scots really needs to upgraded as I note that the man across at the wall is using the urinal right there in the open. My theory is that it flows downhill from there and that the hole with the steps isn’t filled with rainwater…

    And despite all of that – nice Captures Alba – you Scots are amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know…. roasting someone over a fire so they will agree to your terms and conditions sounds just fine to me….
      Haha, that man at the wall better not be using it as a urinal… that’s Mr Alba! 😂


  2. It’s funny, we all do the same thing…something is on your doorstep and it takes you forever to go visit. I drove past Launceston Castle for nearly 20 years before I strolled in one day, actually Mrs Dookes dragged me in!
    Good photos and interesting back stories there Alba.

    Liked by 2 people

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