Culross - 'The Prospect of the Abby of Colross'

This views gives us the Abbey Church and the ruins of Culross Abbey in detail. The abbey was founded in 1217 by Malcolm, Earl of Fife, as a small Cistertian monastery under that of Kinloss in Moray. However, much of it was abandoned after the Reformation of 1560. Part of it was taken over as the parish church in 1633.

With later alterations, it still serves as Culross Parish Church. From 1624, the north transept has housed the tomb of Sir George Bruce of Carnock (and Culross Palace). He developed impressive underwater coal mining in the early 17th century.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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Slezer Engraving

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Culross


To the Right Honourable Alexander Earl of Kincardin, Lord Bruce, &c.


Hath its Name from Cul, which signifies a Bank or Border, and Rosse, which was the ancient Name of Fife, because it lies in the Western Corner of that Shire.

It is situated on a Descent at the side of the River of Forth, its Chief Commodities being Salt and Coals. That which chiefly adorns it, is the stately Buildings of the Earl of Kincardin; with the Gardens and Terrace Walks about it, having a pleasant Prospect to the very Mouth of the River Forth. Near unto these Buildings are to be seen the Ruins of an Ancient Monastery.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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