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

Chris Wilson (12 months ago)
You get some amazing pictures here. Not much left to see, but what is there is awesome.
Mark Wood (12 months ago)
Cool ruins. The remains of some beautiful historic architecture.
Barbara Watt (13 months ago)
Not the place to go if you like it busy but this is a lovely, peaceful spot with lots of potential for walking in the area. Very pretty place. Magnificent views of the River Tay.
Dale Hoing (13 months ago)
Lovely small side trip to see history, but feels like it needed more information about certain areas of the Abbey.
Julie Schubert (14 months ago)
On it's own the ruins of the Abbey aren't that much to look at. However if you're on the Fife Coastal Path along the Tay *or* you live old trees, make sure to visit for the very old Spanish Chestnut Tree. It's protected by the National Trust. Please make sure this 433 - 468 year old creature is treated with the required care. There's a wooden fence to keep visitors off the main bits root system in which you'll get see a bit of a path. Don't walk to it, admire it from the distance and take in all the beauty like that. Parking around the Abbey's ruins is a bit difficult as Balmerino is a wee village. So make sure to keep drives and lanes open for traffic.
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