Dunfermline Abbey, New Abbey Nave And Parish Church

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Alternative Names Abbot Street; Maygate; Monastery Street; St Catherine's Wynd; Boer War Memorial: War Memorial Chapel
Site Type ABBEY (12TH CENTURY), NAVE (11TH CENTURY), WAR MEMORIAL(S) (20TH CENTURY)
Canmore ID 49315
Site Number NT08NE 1
NGR NT 08964 87310
Council FIFE
Parish DUNFERMLINE
Former Region FIFE
Former District DUNFERMLINE
Former County FIFE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR
NGR Desc NT 08964 87310 and NT 08996 87309

Canmore Mapping
View this site on a map


Architectural Notes

NT08NE 1.00 08964 87310 and 08996 87309

Architects:

William Burn 1818

(Plan by William Stark for a gallery)

Sir Robert Rowand Anderson 1892 (Steps and entrance gates - decoration of interior of Parish Church).

Hon. Dashwood Preston Bruce by Noble General Bruce by Foley

NMRS Print Room
W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection Acc No 1997/39
7 prints, 2 exterior views.

REFERENCE

SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE

Tack by the commandator and convent to Patrick Buttar of Gormack and others of the Kirks of Muling and Stratherdill etc. In consideration of ?1050 marks paid to them for the reparation and "bigging" of this Abbey and specially for the W quarter of the cloister now in bigging and to be thekyt with lead.
1520

GD93/44

A note concerning the replacement of diamond-shaped panes of glass in many of the windows of the abbey and the making of some new windows in the rooms. James Hendersone to do the work.

1654
GD28/1705

Estimates for the repair of windows and a report on their ruinous state from James Henderson, glazier.

1656
GD28/1731

Account for glasswork. (?25.10.1 Scots). Glazier: James Henderson.

1660
GD28/1761

Receipt for slater work. (?12 Scots). Slater: James Aeson.

1663
GD28/1781

Receipt for glass work. (?23.1.0 Scots). Glazier: James Henderson.

1663
GD28/1782

Receipt for wright work. (?5.16.0 Scots). Wright: Walter Potter

1665
GD28/1866

Receipt for wright work. (?700 Scots). Wright: James Baine.

1665
GD28/1867

Receipt for slater work. (?37.5.4 Scots). Slater: James Andersone.

1665
GD28/1878

Account for demolishing and then rebuilding the tofall (a 'lean-to) in the Abbey. Receipt by John and Walter Pottir for ?7.0.0 Scots

1665
GD28/1880

Discharge for work done at the Abbey in the name of Lord Yester by David and John Cuninghame, smiths. (?65.8.0)

1696
GD28/2236

Discharge for wright work done at the Abbey by James Wilson. (?19 Scots)

1696
GD28/2237

Discharge for slater work done at the Abbey in the name of Lord Yester by William Easone. (?45.5.0 Scots).

1696
GD28/2238

The gatehouse and turnpike of the baylerie house of the Abbey. Discharge for wright work done by John Mackie and granted to Lord Yester's factor.

1696
GD28/2247

Discharged account by John Henderson, glazier, for work done by him. It amounts to ?10.13.0 and was paid by the Earl of Tweeddale's factor.

1666
GD28/2407

Discharge for wright work done at the Abbey in the name of Lord Yester by Hew Tait. (?47.16.0 Scots).

1696
GD28/2239

Dunfemrline Abbey. Letter from David Wilson, provost of Dunfermline, referring to discovery of bones wich 'may be part of the remains of the ancient Royal Family of Scotland'.

1820, June 24
E342/34

Note from Miss Adam to Mr Loch.
She explains how work on the site uncovered the body of Robert the Bruce.

1818
GD160/Box98

Plans: Stored (1941) at 163 Harle Drive, Mile Hill, London NW7, plans elevations & sections of doors window Mr D by John C. Todd 1931.

In the National Library of Scotland, Vol.I., No.41, of Water Colour Sketches by Thomas Brown, Advocate, is a view of part of the Abbey buildings. Reference "Adv. Mss. 34.8.1-3".
See under "Water Colour Sketches, Series of, by Thomas Brown, Advocate."

The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, contains, among the 'Uncatalgued Mss of General Hutton', and numbered 9 and 10, Vol.1 several rather eneffective Views (one in colour) of Dunfermline Abbey; a Plan and section of the Abbey Church, drawn in pencil tot he scale of three quarters of an inch to ten feet as it was prior to the 19th August (year not given, but may be 1812), on Page 12; and numbered 13, Vol.1 Plan and Reference by Alex. Morton, Builder, 1812.
The Plan and Section on Page 12 shew the Abbey Church prior to the time when the part of the Tower fell.

National Library of Soctland: Scots Magazine, March 1810 - text and photographs.

For details of excavation archive by Scotia Archaeology Limited in 1993 see ARCHAEOLOGY

Notes and Activities Click to sort results by Event date ascending

Archaeological Notes

NT08NE 1.00 08964 87310 and 08996 87309

NT08NE 1.01 c.0907 8730 Entrance Gateways and Precinct Wall
NT08NE 1.02 08940 87254 The Pends (Gatehouse)
NT08NE 1.03 0918 8710 Gate
NT08NE 1.04 0896 8737 Gate
NT08NE 1.05 0894 8734 Gate
NT08NE 1.06 08919 87261 Palace and Kitchen
NT08NE 1.07 08963 87261 Frater Hall
NT08NE 1.08 09036 87379 Abbot's House
NT08NE 1.09 0896 8728 Cloisters
NT08NE 1.10 090 871 Mill
NT08NE 1.11 0895 8721 Barn; Stables; Mill
NT08NE 1.12 0903 8737 Trial Excavations; Burial Ground; Culvert
NT08NE 1.13 089 872 Watching Brief
NT08NE 1.14 0903 8731 Chapel
NT08NE 1.15 0904 8128 Cemetery
NT08NE 1.16 08994 87243 Dorter and Reredorter
NT08NE 1.17 08947 87346 New Abbey Parish Church, Boundary Wall and Railings
NT08NE 1.18 09079 87308 New Abbey Parish Church, East Gateway
NT08NE 1.19 08964 87377 New Abbey Parish Church, North West Gateway
NT08NE 1.20 08937 87310 New Abbey Parish Church, West Gateway
NT08NE 1.21 09068 87320 New Abbey Parish Church, Gatehouse.

(NT 0898 8731) Abbey (NR) (remains of)
OS 6" map (1967)

The remains of the Benedictine Abbey founded by David I in 1128 overlying the foundations of the Church of the Holy Trinity, founded by Queen Margaret c. 1070, in which a priory was apparently established. The plan of Queen Margaret's church is outlined on the floor of the nave of the later church and parts of the foundation can be seen through gratings. The plan, recovered by excavation about 1916, consists of a nave with a square set tower. A choir and apse appear to have been added at a slight later date and on a slightly different axis.
Of the Benedictine Abbey, the nave of the church, also dedicated to the Holy Trinity, remains, now used as a vestibule to the parish church which was built in 1819 on the site of the choir, transepts and crossing tower of its predecessor. The remains of a 13th century chapel, dedicated to St Margaret, which was attached to the E end of the Abbey Church, still survive at the E end of the modern church.
Of the conventual buildings only the under-buildings of the frater, dorter and rere-dorter remain (NT08NE 1.07) to the S of the graveyard which now occupies the site of the cloister (NT08NE 1.09) and most of
the E range. These are all 14th century, the earlier buildings having been destroyed in 1303 by Edward I who spared only the church.
On the south, these buildings are separated by a terrace, crossed by a late 14th century gatehouse (NT08NE 1.02) from the kitchens and the guest-house. These also are 14th century although in the late 16th or early 17th century's the guest-house was raised in height, substantially altered and transformed into a royal palace (NT08NE 1.6). The 16th century Abbot's House (NT08NE 1.08) is now occupied as tenements.
The Abbey precinct (NT08NE 1.01 and NT08NE 03 -05) was surrounded by a wall 12' high and 4' - 5' thick with ports and posterns, enclosing an area of 360 acres. The Abbey mill was about NT 0903 8719 (NT08NE 1.10).
RCAHMS 1933; D E Easson 1957; E Henderson 1879

The Abbey Church is still in use as a vestibule to the parish church.
Visited by OS (DWR) 18 February 1974

Reports on excavations at Dunfermline Abbey in 1975 and 1977, the latter exposing what may be part of the south wall of the early church.
T M Robertson, G H Williams, G Haggerty and N Reynolds 1982

Correspondence relating to the discovery of stone sarcophagi in 1847, and correspondence, drawings and photographs relating to P MacGregor Chalmer's 1916 excavations are held in the National Archives of Scotland (MW/1/901).
Information from RCAHMS (IF), 19 August 2002.

NT 089 873 A watching brief was undertaken in February 2005 during the excavation of a trench to repair a drain serving the abbey toilets, running from the E wall of the abbey, underneath a tarmac path to the S of St Margaret's Shrine, and joining the main sewage system in the nearby street. The excavations revealed a site that had obviously been disturbed at least four times in the past in order to provide drainage, water and lighting facilities to the early 19th-century abbey. Nothing of archaeological interest was discovered.
Archive to be deposited in NMRS.
Sponsors: HS A, Kilmadock Development Trust.
S Hogg 2005

1306 to 1329
 PUBLICATION ACCOUNT

Notes The year 2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, in which the army of Robert I of Scotland defeated that of Edward II of England. The battle marked a major turning point in the long, drawn-out struggle of the Wars of Independence.

The Wars have had a lasting influence upon all the nations of the United Kingdom and upon the national story. Each age has seen fit to commemorate the events in its own way: through the perpetuation of the genuine historical associations of buildings and places and also through the endowment of others with improbable or fanciful traditions. Where past generations allowed its historic buildings to decay and disappear, later generations began to value and actively preserve these for their associations. Where an event lacked a tangible reminder, as at Kinghorn where Alexander III was killed in a riding accident, a commemorative monument would be erected to act as a focus. The Wars of Independence predate the fashion for accurate portraiture: the weathered, generic military effigy of Sir James Douglas is one of the few to survive in Scotland. Later centuries saw a need and supplied it by a crowd of images of its historic heroes, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, each depicted according to contemporary taste and imagination. The opening of the new heritage centre at Bannockburn takes this into a new dimension, through the use of three-dimensional, digital technology.

RCAHMS Collections hold many images of these buildings and locations from battlefields, castles and churches, to the many commemorative monuments erected in later years. This gallery highlights a selection of these, including antiquarian sketches, photographic and drawn surveys, and architectural designs.


Further details

18 February 1974
 FIELD VISIT

Notes The Abbey Church is still in use as a vestibule to the parish church.
Visited by OS (DWR) 18 February 1974

Further details

1975 to 1977
 EXCAVATION

Notes Reports on excavations at Dunfermline Abbey in 1975 and 1977, the latter exposing what may be part of the south wall of the early church.
T M Robertson, G H Williams, G Haggerty and N Reynolds 1982

Further details

1993
 EXCAVATION

Notes Excavations undertaken by Scotia Archaeology in 2003.

Further details

19 August 2002
 REFERENCE

Notes Correspondence relating to the discovery of stone sarcophagi in 1847, and correspondence, drawings and photographs relating to P MacGregor Chalmer's 1916 excavations are held in the National Archives of Scotland (MW/1/901).
Information from RCAHMS (IF), 19 August 2002.

Further details

February 2005
 WATCHING BRIEF

Notes NT 089 873 A watching brief was undertaken in February 2005 during the excavation of a trench to repair a drain serving the abbey toilets, running from the E wall of the abbey, underneath a tarmac path to the S of St Margaret's Shrine, and joining the main sewage system in the nearby street. The excavations revealed a site that had obviously been disturbed at least four times in the past in order to provide drainage, water and lighting facilities to the early 19th-century abbey. Nothing of archaeological interest was discovered.
Archive to be deposited in NMRS.
Sponsors: HS A, Kilmadock Development Trust.
S Hogg 2005

Further details

25 February 2008 to 16 July 2008
 WATCHING BRIEF

Notes NT 0896 8731 Monitoring works were undertaken between 25 February–16 July 2008 in relation to the development of St Catherine’s Wynd and Monastery Street, next to Dunfermline Abbey. This entailed the repaving and landscaping of St Catherine’s Wynd and Monastery Street as well as the adjoining passage through The Pends. Additional works, such as the felling of trees on Monastery Street, placement of services and street lighting were also covered. Several significant archaeological features were uncovered and recorded. These features related to the extended structure of the Abbey and the Palace as well as the subsequent surrounding industry.
Archive: RCAHMS. Report: WoSAS
Funder: Fife Council Property Services
Alan Matthews (Rathmell Archaeology Limited), 2008

Also reported in Oasis (rathmell1-44431) 26 March 2013

Further details

February 2014 to July 2014
 PROJECT

Notes A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Further details

 
External Links

Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR)

Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR)


 
Books and References

Anon (1929) 'Dunfermline Abbey', Scot Country Life Article July 1929
Page(s): 202

Beveridge, D (1888) Between the Ochils and Forth: a description, topographical and historical, of the country between Stirling Bridge and Aberdour, Edinburgh
Held at RCAHMS D.4.2.OCH

Beveridge, E (ed.) (1917) The burgh records of Dunfermline: transcribed from the original manuscript volume courts, sasines etc, 1488-1584, Edinburgh
Held at RCAHMS D.4.3.DUN.R

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