Glenluce Abbey

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Glenluce Abbey is situated in Galloway southwest Scotland, 10 miles east of Stranraer, 64 miles west of Dumfries, off the A75 road, by Glenluce village.

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This was a Cistercian monastery founded around 1190 by Rolland, Lord of Galloway. After the Scottish Reformation in 1560, the Abbey was abandoned with much of the stonework taken for other buildings in the area. The reformation ended Catholic worship in Scotland, leading to most Abbeys being abandoned, or converted to Protestant churches.

Roland used monks from the larger Dundrennan Abbey by Kirkcudbright to set up this Abbey.

The Chapter House has been partially restored with period windows. The Chapter House is open only during visitor times. You can view the exterior and grounds all year round.

The Abbey is often visited by people also visiting Whithorn Priory, St Ninian Cave, St Ninian Chapel at the Isle of Whithorn, and Dundrennan Abbey, extremely popular religious sites in the area for people on the St Ninian Pilgrim Journey.

King Robert the Bruce visited the Abbey in 1329 when he was making a pilgrimage to St Ninian's Shrine at Whithorn Priory. This was the area Bruce began to build up his army of followers, and had his first victory in battle at the extremely scenic and remote area of Glentrool, 23 miles northeast of Glenluce.

Gilbert Kennedy, 4th Earl of Cassilis, gained control of Glenluce Abbey during the Reformation.

Kennedy was accused of forcing a monk to sign over Glenluce Abbey land to him, had the monk killed, then had the killer of the monk killed to cover his tracks.

Kennedy was later accused of gaining Crossraguel Abbey lands in Ayrshire, by torturing the commendator at his Ayrshire stronghold of Dunure Castle, 53 miles north of Glenluce.

The Kennedy's were vast landowners in the Ayrshire and Galloway area, with their ancestors having given land to many Abbeys when they were established. No doubt Kennedy believed he was just taking back their land. Clan Kennedy Page.

Monks were allowed to continue living in the Abbey, with the last one dying in 1602. The building was used as a manse for a church from 1619.

1993 - the remains of Glenluce Abbey were acquired by Historic Environment Scotland. It has since been maintained and partially restored to serve as a tourist attraction.

Glenluce Abbey Images