Ancient Monuments

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Deer Abbey

A Scheduled Monument in Central Buchan, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.5233 / 57°31'23"N

Longitude: -2.054 / 2°3'14"W

OS Eastings: 396863

OS Northings: 848128

OS Grid: NJ968481

Mapcode National: GBR P88V.5PD

Mapcode Global: WH9P0.F54D

Entry Name: Deer Abbey

Scheduled Date: 6 February 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90093

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: abbey

Location: Old Deer

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Central Buchan

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument consists of the remains of Deer Abbey, founded in 1219.

Little remains of this house which was founded by William Comyn, Earl of Buchan as a daughter house of Kinloss in Moray. Buchan was himself buried in the abbey in 1233. The community was never large, in 1544 it was recorded as being 11 monks. This is presumably less than originally occupied it, but it is unlikely that there was ever more than 15, the lowest number acceptable to the Cistercian order.

The arrangement of the abbey follows the standard Cistercian layout, with the church forming the N side of a cloister. The cloister is ranged around by the domestic buildings; the monks' range in the E, a domestic range in the S and the lay brothers' range in the W. The buildings were of simple construction with round-headed windows and no apparent decoration. The church was cruciform, with a single aisle on the north side. The cloister was 22m across. To the E of the E range was an infirmary building and to the south of it the Abbot's house.

In 1587 the abbey became a secular lordship, as the Barony of Altrie; although this was simply regularising the arrangement which had existed since about 1560. By 1809 the ruins were repaired and the grounds laid out as a garden, but in 1854 Admiral Ferguson practically destroyed the abbey to construct a mauseoleum. This has since been removed.

The area to be scheduled lies within the modern boundary wall and includes all of the surviving abbey buildings and an area likely to contain archaeological remains of other buildings and deposits associated with what is visible. The area measures a maximum of 90m E-W by 90m N-S and is indicated in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


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Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Deer Abbey
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Related Designations

Designation TypeListed Building (B)StatusRemoved

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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