Melrose - 'The Ruines of the Abbie of Melross'

Slezer's engraving of Melrose Abbey is made up of several drawings. That is why the perspective of this view of the abbey from the south is not as accurate as it should be.

The once-magnificent 12th-century Cistertian building had suffered several major attacks during its first 300 years. At the start of the 17th century it was badly damaged, but part of it had been developed for use as the parish church. The church was still in use when Slezer visited Melrose, and the figures he inserted could possibly be on their way to worship.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Melrose


To the Right Honourable Charles Earl of Haddington, Lord Binning and Byres, &c.


It lies in Teviotdale on the Bank of the River Tweede, was founded by St. David, in the Year 1136, and possess'd by the Bernardines, Monks so called from St. Bernard a Burgundian; who entring the Monastery of Cisteaux, proved so strict an Observer of Monastick Discipline, that the Regulars of the foresaid Order took their Name from him; and are called at this Day promicuously, Bernardines or Cistercians.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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