Dunfermline - 'The Prospect of the Abby of Dunfermling'

From the south, looking across abbey lands, Dunfermline Abbey dominates the town.

By Slezer's time, the abbey had been in ruins since the Reformation in 1560. During the late 1500s, parts of the Abbey Church were rebuilt, and the abbey guest house was developed as a royal palace by Queen Anne, wife of James VI. The spire of the Abbey Church is clearly visible.

Slezer made this prospect of Dunfermline from a hilly vantage point near Pittencrief House.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Dunfermline


To the Right Honourable David Earl of Levin, Lord Leslie of Balgenie, Principal Governour of the Castle of Edinburgh, and One of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy Council.


A Town situated on the West end of the Sheriffdom of Fife. It was of old the Kings Seat: For on a little Hill near the Bridge are to be seen the Ruines of an Old Castle, which is supposed to have been the Palace of Malcolm Canmois. It hath a Royal Palace in it, near to which are the Ruines of a stately Monastery which was founded Anno 1130, by David I. King of Scotland, for the Benedictine Monks, and finished by King Malcolm III, where also both he, and St. Margaret his Queen, are buried. It is famous for the Birth of King Charles I and gives the Title of Earl to a Branch of the Family of the Seatons.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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