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Dundrennan Abbey

A Scheduled Monument in Dee and Glenkens, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.8066 / 54°48'23"N

Longitude: -3.9475 / 3°56'50"W

OS Eastings: 274926

OS Northings: 547481

OS Grid: NX749474

Mapcode National: GBR 0DWV.5S

Mapcode Global: WH4WL.BGH2

Entry Name: Dundrennan Abbey

Scheduled Date: 17 July 1995

Last Amended: 15 December 2017

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90114

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: abbey

Location: Rerrick

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Dee and Glenkens

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument consists of the Cistercian abbey of Dundrennan, founded as a daughter house of Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, probably by Fergus, Lord of Galloway, in 1142.

Although a mere fragment of its former grandeur, the architecture of Dundrennan Abbey is the most accomplished medieval workmanship in Galloway. The church is reduced to footings except for the central W door, part of the W wall, the transepts and part of the square-ended presbytery. The aisled nave was 8 bays long and two storeyed, incorporating a range of clerestore windows. The transepts each had three chapels. The E side of the transepts were remodelled in the last quarter of the 12th century, when among other changes, a triforium was introduced above the arcades of the chapels.

Of the claustral buildings only parts of the three ranges are now visible, although these clearly follow the standard Cistercian pattern. The chief feature is the late 13th-century arcaded frontage of the chapter house which has a cusped doorway and flanking two- light windows. It possessed a grand, aisled and vaulted interior, sub-divided into twelve vaulted compartments and contains fine, mainly abbatial, grave-slabs. The W range was built for the lay brothers, but was altered as a dwelling in the 16th century. Recent excavation of the S range has demonstrated that the plan varies from the standard by the range's extension to the E, possibly to accommodate the drainage for the reredorter.

An abbey of this wealth would be expected to have a large precinct with additional, ancillary buildings, including an infirmary, workshops and a mill. The scheduled area takes account of this and includes the abbey and an area around in which it is likely that archaeological evidence of structures ancillary to the abbey will be preserved, as shown in red on the accompanying revised map. The area excludes all modern fences and walls and associated gates, the top 300mm of all paths and roads to allow for their maintenance, all modern signage, the modern play park, all telegraph poles, the custodian's hut and shop, the refurbished stone store and tractor shed, the top 200mm of all gravel surfaces within the abbey to allow for their maintenance and all modern timber stairs and fittings within the abbey.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


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Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Dundrennan Abbey
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Related Designations

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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