Beauly Priory

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Beauly Priory
Scotlan Beauly Priory.jpg
Monastery information
OrderValliscaulian, Cistercian (after 1510)
Mother houseVal-des-Choux
DioceseDiocese of Moray
Controlled churchesAbertarff; Comar; Conveth
Founder(s)Alexander II of Scotland
John Byset
Important associated figuresRobert Reid

Beauly Priory was a Valliscaulian monastic community located at "Insula de Achenbady", now Beauly, Inverness-shire. It was probably founded in 1230. It is not known for certain who the founder was, different sources giving Alexander II of Scotland, John Byset, and both. The French monks, along with Bisset (a nearby, recently settled landowner), had a strong enough French-speaking presence to give the location and the river the name "beau lieu" ("beautiful place") and have it pass into English.

It is not the best documented abbey, and few of the priors of Beauly are known by name until the 14th century. It became Cistercian on April 16, 1510, after the suppression of the Valliscaulian Order by the Pope. The priory was gradually secularized, and ruled by a series of commendatory abbots. The priory's lands were given over to the bishop of Ross by royal charter on October 20, 1634.

The ruins today are still extensive and are one of the main visitor attractions in Inverness-shire. It is protected as a scheduled monument.[1]

John Keats[edit]

In August 1818 John Keats and his friend Charles Brown stopped at Beauly on their way to Cromarty. Their visit produced a collaborative poem, On Some Skulls in Beauley Abbey, near Inverness, written early in August 1818 or possibly some weeks or months later. The majority of the lines are by Brown. Keats contributed the first line of the poem and the first four words of the second line, and three stanzas.[2]

Notable burials[edit]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Beauly Priory,priory and burial ground (SM90031)". Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  2. ^ Stillinger, Jack, The Poems of John Keats, London, Heinemann, 1978, p.617
  3. ^ Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). pp. 144 - 145.
  4. ^ Mackinnon, Donald. (1954). The Clan Ross. p. 24. W & A K Johnston's Clan Histories. Edinburgh and London.

External links[edit]