Lindores Abbey was a Tironensian abbey on the outskirts of Newburgh in Fife. The abbey was founded as a daughter house of Kelso Abbey in 1191 (some sources say 1178), by David, Earl of Huntingdon, on land granted to him by his brother William the Lion. The first abbot was Guido, Prior of Kelso, under whom the buildings were mostly completed.

The abbey was sacked by a mob from Dundee in 1543, and again by John Knox and his supporters in 1559. After the Reformation, the Abbey passed into the hands of a Commendator, one whose loyal service to the King was rewarded by the gift of the ecclesiastical income and property. The monks remained for a time, but the Abbey began to be dismantled around 1584. In the following years the Abbey buildings were quarried as a source of building stone for Newburgh, and slate, timber and carvings from the Abbey as well as a number of architectural fragments are visible built into later structures in the town.

The main upstanding remains of the Abbey are: one of the gateways leading into the monastic enclosure; the groin-vaulted slype, leading from the cloister garth to the exterior of the Abbey; and parts of the chancel walls and western tower of the church, although the ground plan of the whole structure can still be traced. Sections of the imposing precinct wall which once enclosed the abbey can also be seen in fields to the south.

The Lindores Abbey distillery re-opened in 2017 and began distilling scotch whisky by December of that year. It is owned and operated by the McKenzie Smith family.

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Founded: 1191
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Neopunzia (2 months ago)
I would like confirmation from the owner. Is it true that in the oldest document in the world where for the first time we read a reference to whiskey (1494) a friar named John Corr who lived in this abbey received from King George IV himself a quantity of barley to be distilled? Uisce beatha ...
Alex Doncon (3 months ago)
Visited during the pandemic. You can't tour the distillery for safety reasons, but we could still do tastings, watch video tours and have a guide explain the history. Amazing place - can't wait until they release their first scotch.
Jimmy Urquhart (3 months ago)
We had a wonderful experience given the covid restrictions. Great tour and we had a lunch there as well. Looked after really well by the team. A great story, setting and hopefully great whisky very soon.
Daniel Chorley (4 months ago)
Fantastic distillery with a superb story. We were shown around by Ronnie who clearly has a flair for the story and the Abbey it surrounds. Their Aqua Vitae tastes good and is a cracking idea for a product while their whisky matures. Excited to see what comes from the home of malt whisky! (Also ate at the restaurant - superb)
Lenny Love (4 months ago)
Wonderful!!!!
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