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
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
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
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
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