Beauly Priory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beauly Priory
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 16 April 1510, after the suppression of the Valliscaulian Order by the Pope. The priory was gradually secularised, and ruled by a series of commendatory abbots. The priory's lands were given over to the bishop of Ross by royal charter on 20 October 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 to 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]


George F Campbell: "The First and Lost Iona." Candlemas Hill Publishing 2006 and on Kindle.


  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 of Plean; Squire, Romilly of Rubislaw (1994). Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. Glasgow: HarperCollins (for the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). pp. 144–145. ISBN 0-00-470547-5.
  4. ^ Paul, James Balfour (1910). The Scots peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom. D. Douglas. p. 497. Quoting: History of Beauly Priory, Grampian Club, 105 and frontispiece
  5. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander (1894). History of the Mackenzies: With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name. A. & W. Mackenzie. p. 143.
  6. ^ Fraser, William, Sir, K.C.B. (1876). The Earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence. Vol. 2. Edinburgh. pp. 497. Fraser's 1876 book contains a transcript of George Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Cromartie's 17th century History of the Family of Mackenzie{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander (1894). History of the Mackenzies: With Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name. A. & W. Mackenzie. p. 178.
  8. ^ Mackinnon, Donald (1954). The Clan Ross. Edinburgh and London: W. & A.K. Johnston. p. 24.

External links[edit]