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.



Your name


Balmerino, United Kingdom
See all sites in Balmerino


Founded: 1227
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

More Information


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Charles Welsh (2 months ago)
Beautiful views of Dundee and the perth/ Angus hills and of course the river Tay. The 13th. Century abbey gives visitors an almost spiritual feeling as they walk around the walls and it's grounds.The quiet solitude is good for the soul at this difficult time.
Alasdair Robertson (3 months ago)
It's up the back of beyond but worth a look whats left of it is surprising just a shame the ruins are not being preserved the way they should. This site has potential to be a great attraction but its been left practically abandoned and unloved a great shame as whats left has amazed me as I didn't expect it. I really didn't Google before I arrived.
It's just tasha (3 months ago)
This site is wonderfully peaceful and the history is rich. Truly a beautiful little place. With the beach nearby too it's easy to lose a full day wandering and exploring.
Jerry Donaldson (4 months ago)
Great free place to visit, perfect for a picnic
David Peter Bailey (5 months ago)
Suituated by the River Tay. In loverly settings. Ruins. Take the Tay bridge to Glenrothes road. Sign posted on the right, Brown sign. Nice to have a walk. Not sure if restrictions due to Coronavirus. No charge last visit. Norrow roads. Parking available.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine is situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the largest Roman triumphal arch. The arch spans the Via triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph.

Though dedicated to Constantine, much of the decorative material incorporated earlier work from the time of the emperors Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-138) and Marcus Aurelius (161-180), and is thus a collage. The last of the existing triumphal arches in Rome, it is also the only one to make extensive use of spolia, reusing several major reliefs from 2nd century imperial monuments, which give a striking and famous stylistic contrast to the sculpture newly created for the arch.

The arch is 21 m high, 25.9 m wide and 7.4 m deep. Above the archways is placed the attic, composed of brickwork reveted (faced) with marble. A staircase within the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, on the west side, facing the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Roman Forum.