Dryburgh Abbey – Line and Watercolour Wash

Dryburgh Abbey is a magnificent ruin located in the Scottish borders. The first thing that visitors notice is the peaceful setting of this ancient monument. On a sunny day the stone takes on a beautiful reddish pink colour and reflects the sun’s warmth. The abbey was founded in 1150 but destroyed by the first of many subsequent raids in 1322. After restoration it was destroyed again in 1385 . All this took place as raids between Scotland and England were frequent. When the abbey was “destroyed” it should be remembered that these buildings were made from heavy stonework but with wooden panelling, floors and roofs. It would be the wooden structures which took the most damage. However, by the time of the “Rough Wooin” (Rough courtship – resulting from the Scots not agreeing to the marriage of the infant Mary (Queen of Scots) to Henry’s son Edward combined with Henry’s dissolution of the Monasteries in his countries after he excommunicated himself from the Catholic Church, the abbey destroyed again in 1544. It was again restored but when the Scottish Reformation took hold it was allowed to deteriorate to the state seen today. Incidentally it was the Scottish writer and poet, Sir Walter Scott who first used the term “Rough Wooin” He is buried in the grounds of the abbey as is Douglas Haig, the general who was responsible for many of the land campaigns in the first world war. Visitors to my country should take the time to visit the ancient abbeys in the Scottish border country. Apart from Dryburgh a “must see” are the ruins of Melrose Abbey, where Robert Bruce’s embalmed heart is buried after being returned from Spain during a crusade, to the Holy Lands, by his friend Douglas and Jedburgh Abbey which is also magnificent.