Sweetheart Abbey is situated 7 miles south of
Dumfries, in the small village of New
Abbey, on the A710 road.
The Abbey is open 1 April to 30 September: Monday
to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm, and 1 October to 31
March: Daily except Thursday and Friday, 10am to 4pm.
Small entry fee.
Map / DG2 8BU .
Area Click On Map . 24 Large Images .
Sweetheart Abbey is situated at the south side of
New Abbey village, as seen top right, with the
Abbey Cottage Tearoom next
to the abbey.
The New Abbey Corn Mill and Abbey Arms Hotel are on the north side of
the village, with the corn mill another top
attraction in the area.
1275 - Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery
originally named Abbey of Dulce Cor, Latin for Sweet
The Abbey was founded by Lady Dervorguilla in
memory of her husband, Baron John de Balliol.
Lady Dervorguilla was
the daughter of the wealthy Alan, Lord of
1268 - Baron John de Balliol died when he was
about 60 years old. Lady Dervorguilla then kept his
embalmed heart in a casket of ivory and silver until
she died in 1290.
The casket was buried alongside her in her tomb
inside the Abbey.
Their son John was king of Scotland
from 1292 to 1296. He was accused of being controlled
by the English, leading to the Wars of Scottish
Independence, and him being forced to abdicate.
The Reformation in 1560 led to the end of Catholic
worship in Scotland. This led to the Abbey, as with
most others in Scotland at the time, being run down
and much of the stonework being taken for town or
It is surprising these impressive Abbeys were not
converted to Protestant churches.
1779 - locals set about preserving what was left
of the Abbey to serve as a monument for the area.
Driving through the village, the Abbey looks vast,
towering above the little cottages.
1928 - Historic Environment Scotland took over the
Abbey to serve as a tourist attraction.