Easby Abbey: warning signs

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Easby Abbey © David Gill

Modern visitors to Easby Abbey enter via the staircase into the west end of the refectory.

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Easy Abbey, east end of the refectory © David Gill

The thirteenth-century doorway to the dorter carries another warning sign.

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Easby Abbey, stairs to dorter © David Gill

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Easby Abbey © David Gill

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Easby Abbey © David Gill

A further warning sign is located near the chapter house on the east side of the cloister.

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Easby Abbey © David Gill

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Easby Abbey, chapter house © David Gill

Dryburgh Abbey: the dorter

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

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Dryburgh Abbey, Dorter © David Gill

The dorter (or dormitory) at Dryburgh Abbey is located on the first floor on the east side of the cloister. It lay above the chapter house and the warming house.

In the 16th century a residence was constructed in the space above the chapter house.

The Ministry signs use the term ‘dormitory’ rather than the Latin ‘dorter’.

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Dryburgh Abbey, east side of the cloister © David Gill

Remains of one of the windows of the dorter can still be seen.

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

It was accessed via the night stairs that lead into the south transept of the church.

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

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Dryburgh Abbey, night stairs © David Gill

The day stairs were located on the south side of the chapter house.

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

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Dryburgh Abbey, Day Stair © David Gill

Dryburgh Abbey: book cupboard

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

A book cupboard is located on the east side of the cloister at Dryburgh Abbey. It is adjacent into the main east processional doorway into the church, and on the other side the library and vestry.

J.S. Richardson (in the ‘Blue Guide’) noted: ‘Near the processional doorway is a wall-press or aumbry, once fitted with doors and shelves to contain the books used in the cloister’.

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

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Dryburgh Abbey © David Gill

 

Guide to Scottish Border Abbeys

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1964 (1973)

In 1964 an illustrated guide to Scottish Border Abbeys was prepared by George Scott-Moncrieff. This covered four abbeys in state guardianship:

  • Melrose Abbey (1919): Cistercian
  • Dryburgh Abbey (1919): Premonstratensian
  • Kelso Abbey: Tironensian
  • Jedburgh Abbey (1913): Augustinian

The guide contains details of each abbey, plans and photographs, as well as reconstructions by Alan Sorrell.

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1932 (2nd ed. 1949, 6th impress. 1973)

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Second edition 1948 (9th impression 1973)

At least two of the sites had earlier official guidebooks: Melrose Abbey (1932) and Dryburgh Abbey (1937). Kelso Abbey had a paper guide.

See also the illustrated guide to Monastic Sites in Yorkshire.

Whithorn: Bishops’ Graves

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Whithorn © David Gill

A Premonstratensian community was established at Whithorn c. 1175. A cathedral was constructed at the site. Excavations during the late 1950s and 1960s discovered a group of graves near to the High Altar of the cathedral, and located within the vaults at the east end. It was presumed that these contained the remains of the bishops, and one of the graves contained the Whithorn Crozier.

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Whithorn © David Gill

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Whithorn © David Gill

Easby Abbey: entrance

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Easby Abbey © David Gill

The modern entrance to the Premonstratensian Abbey of St Agatha at Easby is on the west, river-side of the remains. The temptation for visitors is to try and access the ruins via the parish church on the south-east corner of the site. However there is a steep drop and the Ministry erected a helpful warning sign to redirect the unwary.

Behind the sign, from left to right, is the refectory, chapter house, and sacristy.

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Easby Abbey © David Gill

The site original Ministry finger board helps to direct the visitor arriving from Richmond.

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Easby Abbey © David Gill