Newbattle Abbey was founded in 1140 by monks from Melrose Abbey. The abbey was burned by English royal forces in 1385 and once more in 1544. It became a secular lordship for the last commendator, Mark Kerr in 1587.
After the Reformation most of the remains of the Abbey church were removed and used to build a new church. Little is known about the Newbattle church built after the Reformation. It was situated somewhere on the other side of Newbattle Road from the present church.
In 1720, the building was in such a poor state of repair that the minister, the Rev. Charles Campbell, thought it would possibly fall down. In September 1725, the Marquess of Lothian presented plans for a new church to Dalkeith Presbytery and the heritors (landowners). Edinburgh architect Mr Alexander McGill had drawn up these plans, and, although the project was approved, work did not commence on the new building, and on a clean site, until 1727. The design included making use of material from the old Church, where suitable, in the construction. In fact a considerable amount of stonework was transferred, to such an extent that all that remained of the old Church was the Crypt, which remained as the Burial Chamber for the Kerr/Lothian family. The completion year is generally accepted as 1729.
Part of the abbey was converted into a house which survives at the core of the current building. The house incorporates part of the south end of the monastic range, with the dorter undercroft intact.
The house was modified and rebuilt successively by John Mylne in 1650, William Burn in 1836 and David Bryce in 1858. The drawing room represents one of Scotland's greatest rooms, decorated by Thomas Bonnar around 1870. The 19th century chapel was created in a vaulted undercroft that may date from the original abbey buildings. The chapel includes a 16th-century font and a fine parquet floor, made using wood from the estate, in the style of original tile-work. The library is oak-lined and features a 17th-century moulded ceiling. The garden to the rear of the house includes a pair of large octagonal 17th century sundials. The main abbey remains lie buried to the west and north of the original house.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".