Scotland: Crossraguel Abbey
Brief History of the Crossraguel Abbey
The Crossraguel Abbey in Maybole, South Ayrshire, Scotland lies in ruins and is under careful care of VisitScotland. The abbey was founded in 1244 by Donnchadh the Earl of Carrick. Monks from the Paisley Abbey were transferred to the Crossraguel Abbey. First, only the chapel was built but after a conflict with Edward I and his army, the abbey was expanded and was an active monastery until the late 1500s. The final monk passed away in 1601 but the building, for the most part, remained.
Maybole is in South Ayrshire, Scotland. There is a train station in Maybole but there are no cab services and no direct bus line to the abbey. It is recommended that you have a car to get there; onsite, there is ample parking. You can walk there from the Maybole train station but it is a fairly long walk on the M8...especially if it is windy *shudder*
You can walk around the courtyard and see the different rooms and buildings the monks would use.The church was under some reconstruction while I was there but it was still definitely worth a visit.
You can climb to the top of the tower and I really recommend it; the views from there are amazing.
This abbey is one of the most complete ruins in Scotland. You can literally see and feel the history here. It was strange walking around knowing that people lived and worked here centuries ago.
This is me being a big fat nerd:
Consider that much of this was built in the 1200s and had some additions up until the 1600s. It was incredibly surreal being in this environment and knowing that these medieval monks lived much of their lives here. I have learned about topics like these in my history classes but I can tell you it is definitely different walking on the same ground, breathing the same air, and seeing the same sights as someone from the 1200s. I wonder if they ever thought something like that would happen? That where they lived, people would visit for centuries to come and marvel at the structure. Probably not.
Crossraguel Abbey and much of Scotland's historical sites are maintained by Historic Environment Scotland and they do a marvelous job. The woman that was working the day of our visit was absolutely delightful and incredibly helpful. It is always so exciting to meet others that share your interests.