Deer Abbey was a Cistercian monastery in Buchan. It was founded in 1219 by the patronage William Comyn, Earl of Buchan, who is also buried there. There was an earlier community of Scottish monks or priests. The notitiae on the margins of the Book of Deer record grants made to the Scottish religious community in the 12th century and a claim that it was founded by Saint Columba and Saint Drostan. The old religious community was probably absorbed by the new foundation. The history of the abbey after the 1210s is obscure until the 16th century, when it was beginning to be secularized. The abbey was turned into a secular lordship for Commendator Robert Keith II in 1587.
The Abbey was included in the lands obtained by Lord Pitfour and became part of the Pitfour estate in 1766. His son, the third laird built the 5 metres high enclosing wall in 1809 and used the grounds as an orchard. The fifth laird had the site cleared and used the stones from the Abbey building to have a mausoleum constructed in which to bury his daughter when she died aged 21 years in 1851. The only other person buried in the mausoleum was Ferguson's mother-in-law. The mausoleum was destroyed in the 1930s when the Abbey was transferred to Roman Catholic ownership and parts of it were used to build an entrance; however this was undertaken without disturbing the graves of Lady Langford and Ferguson's daughter, Eliza.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.