Jedburgh Abbey

This magnificent 12th Century Augustianian Abbey, founded by David I, sits proudly on the south side of the town, and greets visitors coming from the Carter Bar. Now owned by Historic Scotland,

Jedburgh Abbey is one of the four great abbeys built in Scotland’s border country during the Middle Ages. It was established as a priory of Augustinian canons around 1138. The brethren possibly came here from St Quentin Abbey, near Beauvais, France. The priory was raised to abbey status around 1154.

Jedburgh Abbey, looking West

Given Jedburgh’s close proximity to England, David I saw his new abbey as demonstrating his power and authority over the Borders – a ‘debatable land’. Despite the ravages of war and weather, the abbey remains as impressive today, almost 900 years later. Although the abbey cloister is now mostly stone foundations, the great abbey church of St Mary the Virgin stands almost entire. The eastern end has Romanesque architecture of the highest quality. Its solid cylindrical pillars stand in contrast to the more delicate Gothic nave, with its graceful sweep of arcades and magnificent west front.

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