Melrose Abbey ***

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The Abbey was (and still is) undoubtedly the most spectacular of the Borders Abbeys. Not only for the size of the complex, but also for the sheer importance in times past. It was founded by King David I round about the year 1136 and construction began with just one abbot and 12 monks from Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire.

Attacks by the English saw the church being pillaged and burned in 1322, and the Abbey was set on fire in 1385 by Richard II, when many monks were killed and David II was forced back to Edinburgh.

In 1545 the Earl of Hertford bombarded the site with cannon. The town of Melrose also suffered from English invasions and the Abbey came to an end with the Reformation in 1560. Following the last attack the Abbey was never properly restored.

Within the Abbey grounds lies the heart of Scotland's greatest King, Robert The Bruce in an unopened lead casket.