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Arbroath Abbey

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Arbroath Abbey was established by King William ‘The Rough’ of Scotland in 1178 and over the centuries the it rose to become one of the richest in Scotland with extensive powers in trade and commerce.

At its consecration in 1197 it was dedicated to the Martyred saint, Thomas Becket who was murdered at Canterbury Cathedral by agents of King Henry II in 1170 AD. King William was burried in the abbey immediately in front of the High Alter. Over the centuries the abbey rose to become one of the richest in Scotland with extensive powers in trade and commerce. King John of England even granted the monks free trading rights anywhere in England outside of London. It is famous for two events – one ancient and one much more recent. In 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath of was signed asserting Scottish independence from England. Much of this is believed to have been drafted by ‘Bernard of Kilwinning’ Abbot of Arbroath Abbey and Chancellor of Scotland.

More recently the building, by now a ruin, was in the news again when on Christmas Day 1950, the Stone of Destiny was stolen from Westminster Abbey. Just over four months later on the 11 April 1951 it was discovered lying next to the tomb of King William and the High Alter of Arbroath Abbey. It’s believed to be a symbolic gesture reasserting Scotland’s independence from England. The culprits were never caught and there is some speculation and mystery surrounding what the stone was used for during the months it was missing. The theft of the Stone of Destiny (Stone of Scone) was satirised by the famous British author Terry Pratchett in his Discworld novel entitled The Fifth Elephant and published in 1999. The Abbey was also the inspirations for the ruined monastery of St Ruth featured in ‘The Antiquary’ by Sir Walter Scott.



Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Scone Palace Caravan Park, Stormontfield Road, Scone
Tayside, Scotland, PH2 6BB
+44 (0)1738 552 323

Contact Details

  • Address: Abbey Street, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom, DD11 1EG
  • GPS: 56.56196389,-2.582061111
  • Phone: 0044 (0)1241 878 756
  • Part of UK: Scotland
  • Sat Nav Postcode: DD11 1EG
  • Entrance Fees: Yes
  • Disabled Access: Good
  • Visibility from Road: Good

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