Lindores Abbey was a Tironensian abbey on the outskirts of Newburgh in Fife, Scotland. Now a much reduced and overgrown ruin, it lies on the southern banks of the River Tay, about 1-mile (1.6 km) north of the village of Lindores.
The abbey was founded as a daughter house of Kelso Abbey about 1191 (some sources say 1178), by David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother of William the Lion. The first abbot was Guido, Prior of Kelso, under whom the buildings were mostly completed. The church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. Andrew, was 195 feet (59 m) long, with transepts 110 feet (34 m) long. Edward I of England, John Balliol, David II, and James III were among the monarchs who visited Lindores at different times.
The earliest record of scotch whisky cited by the exchequer roll for 1494 is a commission from King James IV to Friar John Cor of Lindores Abbey to make about ‘eight bols of malt’ or 580 kg of aquavitae.
The abbey was sacked by a mob from Dundee in 1543, and again by John Knox and his supporters in 1559. In the following years the Abbey buildings were quarried as a source of building stone for Newburgh, and a number of architectural fragments are visible built into later structures in the town.
The main upstanding remains of the Abbey are: one of the gateways leading into the monastic enclosure; the groin-vaulted slype, leading from the cloister garth to the exterior of the Abbey; and parts of the chancel walls and western tower of the church, although the ground plan of the whole structure can still be traced. Sections of the imposing precinct wall which once enclosed the abbey can also be seen in fields to the south.
Wooden panels of the early 16th century survive from the Abbey in the Laing Museum, Newburgh and, reset in a 19th-century cabinet, in St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Dundee.
- 1191: Abbey founded by David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon, on land granted by his brother King William I.
- 1284 January 17: Alexander, Prince of Scotland, died at Lindores, at the age of 19. His death created a succession crisis, eventually leading to Scotland's war with England.
- 1298: Sir William Wallace visits the Abbey after victory at the Battle of Blackearnside.
- 1402: David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, is buried at the Abbey, after his death at Falkland Palace.
- 1488: James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas, is buried at the Abbey, after his death there.
- 1494 June 1: Earliest known recording of "Aqua Vitae" (Scotch whisky) in Exchequer Rolls refers to Friar John Cor, a Tironension monk of the Abbey.
- 1559: John Knox sacks the Abbey after his speech at Perth, dispersing stonework throughout Newburgh.
- 1793 or 1813: Title of Lord Lindores goes dormant, with abbey lands divided between various families.
- 1912 (approx): Abbey and neighbouring farm purchased from Mugdrum Estate by John Howison and is still in the ownership of his great grandchildren.
- The Abbey is currently open to visitors by prior appointment (01337 842 547) In 2017 visits to the ruins will be incorporated into the tours hosted by the new whisky distillery which should be completed in July of 2017.
- Tour Lindores Abbey.
- Divine Inspiration. The Scotsman. 24 January 2004
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Benedictine Abbey of Lindores". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- for Lindores Abbey
- Lindores Abbey - Home of Scotch Whisky. 1 October 2011
- Abbot of Lindores, for a list of abbots and commendators
- National Archives of Scotland for the exchequer roll
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