Balmerino Abbey

Balmerino, United Kingdom

Balmerino Abbey founded in 1227 to 1229 by monks from Melrose Abbey with the patronage of Ermengarde de Beaumont and King Alexander II of Scotland. It remained a daughter house of Melrose. It had approximately 20 monks at the beginning of the sixteenth century, but declined in that century. In December 1547 it was burned by an English force, and allegedly damaged again in 1559 by Scottish Protestants as part of the Reformation's destruction of idolatrous structures.

In combination with several centuries of plundering for building stone the entire main abbey is absent and only the smaller support structures to the north survive, most notable of which are the fan-vaulted cloisters.

In 1606-07 its name was reuseded as a secular lordship for James Elphinstone, 1st Lord Balmerino.

In 1910 the landowner employed Francis William Deas to survey the building and execute a programme of repairs and consolidation.

The abbey is now under the stewardship of the National Trust for Scotland, and a small entrance fee is requested at an honesty box, with no ticket booth or manned presence on-site. The ruin consists of a substantial section of the east wall of the main church. More substantial ruins of some of the associated buildings exist to the side of this but access is currently prohibited due to their poor state of repair.



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Balmerino, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1227
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Elizabeth Kell (2 years ago)
Visited Balmerino Abbey today. Very interesting. Burial place of Queen Ermengarde de Beaumont. Could do with a good tidy up.
Roy Cairns (2 years ago)
A beautifully peaceful place to simply sit and listen to the birdsong. History under your feet. Sadly this could be far better renovated and researched but it’s still an amazing place.
Berglas71 (2 years ago)
Nice wee ruins of the old Abbey, if you like local history and are in the area. There is limited parking on a single lane road, please drive slowly. There is a 2 car carpark on the Fife Coastal path a couple of hundred yards further down from the entrance to the ruins and if you have time, a hundred yards down from the entrance there is a right-hand turn between the houses, this takes you on a single track road then drive a couple of hundred yards further on up the hill and you come across the local cemetery.
Leen twentyonetwelve (2 years ago)
Small but lots of details. There is a fence right round but if you find yourself on the wrong side of it be careful. Also a wonderful old chestnut tree is there.
Graeme Heddle (2 years ago)
Peaceful ruins with a beautiful ancient tree and a nature trail that's great for dogs (and kids!) There's very little left standing except a few foundations, the chapter house and a vaulted cellar. Unfortunately it's not in a great state and looks on the verge of collapse. The site is managed by NTS so I'm surprised they haven't done anything about consolidating what remains. The chapter house is fenced off as a result.
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