Arbroath Abbey is situated in the
centre of Arbroath, 16 miles northeast of
Dundee, 54 miles south of
This is one of the largest Abbeys in
Scotland, known for the Declaration of
Arbroath, with a copy of the document in
its museum. This document helped end the
First War of Scottish Independence.
The Abbey can be visited throughout
the year with an entrance fee. Postcode:
See also a large Click On
Map for Top Attractions in the area.
The Abbey is popular for viewing its size,
incredible for the time it was built. The
modern visitor centre has a cafe, contains the
best preserved stonework, relics, gives
information on the Abbey history, has a replica
of the Stone of Destiny, and has
computer-generated images through the Abbey
when it was complete.
Within the Abbey are the Abbots House Museum
and the Declaration of
Arbroath room holding a copy of the famous
Arbroath Abbey History
1178 - Arbroath Abbey was founded by King
William the Lion for Tironensian Benedictine
monks brought up from Kelso Abbey.
This was the only Abbey founded by King
1214 - King William
was buried in front of the high altar of the
King William had given the Abbey control
over vast areas of land from which it gained a
large income. The Monks were also allowed to
run a market.
1233 - the Abbey was completed.
1296–1328 - the First War of Scottish
Independence takes place as Scots try to
prevent English Kings from ruling Scotland.
1306 - Robert the Bruce killed John Comyn,
his rival for the Scottish throne, leading to
him being excommunicated by the Pope. Bruce was
crowned King of Scots on the 25 March of that
1314 - victory for Bruce over the English at
the Battle of Bannockburn secures Bruce's
position as Scotland's king, although fighting
between the two countries continued.
1320 - the Scottish Parliament met at
Arbroath Abbey from where they sent a letter to
the Pope known as the Declaration of Arbroath.
This letter was to help persuade the Pope to
recognize Scotland as an independent country
under King Robert the Bruce, and help put a
stop to the wars between Scotland and
1324 - King Robert the
Bruce received Papal recognition as the
King of Scotland.
1328 - the Treaty of
Edinburgh–Northampton is signed to end the
war between Scotland and England with the
English recognizing Bruce as the King of
1394 - a harbour is built in Arbroath by the
Abbey to allow them to obtain more wealth
This was regarded as the wealthiest Abbey in
1446 - the Battle of
Arbroath took place between Clan Lindsay
and their followers, and Clan Ogilvy and their
followers, over a disputed as to who should be
in control of justice on the vast Arbroath
Abbey lands. Around 500 men died in that battle
with no outright winner.
1560 - the Protestant Reformation lead to
the Abbey being abandoned. Catholic worship was
banned from this time and Protestant Kings and
Queens would be chosen before their Catholic
relations, leading to a number of
1590 - stonework from the Abbey was taken
for buildings in Arbroath.
1815 - new laws were introduced to preserve
the remains of the Abbey.
1947 - a re-enactment of the Declaration's
signing was held at the Abbey.
6th of April each year - a special event to
mark the signing is held with a street
1950 Christmas Day - the Stone of
Destiny was stolen from Westminster
1951 April 11 - the Stone of Destiny was
found at the alter of Arbroath Abbey.
1951 - The stone was returned to Westminster
Abbey. There is a replica stone at Arbroath
Abbey in the new museum.
1996 - the Stone of Destiny was returned to
Scotland. It is now housed in a Museum at
2001 - a new visitors centre was opened at
the entrance of Arbroath Abbey.
2005 - a campaign was launched to gain World
Heritage Status for the Abbey and The
Declaration of Arbroath.
The large round window high in the south
transept was thought to have been lit up at
night to serve as a beacon for mariners. It is
known by locals as the Round O.
Stones and Museum are situated under 2
miles north in a museum by ST Vigeans
Church. These are 38 Pictish Stones from
around the 800s. This museum has to visited by
appointment by phoning the number on the
St Vigeans Map DD11