Jedburgh on the Scottish borders is a fantastic place to visit.
On our recent visit to Jedburgh we found 2 Great Historical places to visit in Jedburgh; Mary queen of Scots house and Jedburgh Abbey. We decided first to visit the magnificent Abbey. On approaching the abbey you can see it soar up into the skyline and has unparalleled richness in atmosphere and also photogenic possibilities.
Since we had our English heritage pass we were able to get free entry due to the fact we had renewed it for an extra year. If we had gone within the first year of membership we would have paid 50% of the price.
Jedburgh is a handy 10 miles north of the English border and only an hour from the Scottish Capital Edinburgh. The largest town in-between Newcastle upon Tyne and Edinburgh on the A68.
The 12th century Augustinian Abbey is well worth the visit, great Gothic architecture Set on the Jed water with a dominating presence.
The Abbey was first founded as a priory by Kind David 1 in 1138 and latter became an Abbey in 1154. This was a testament to his ability to show the English and Scottish alike that he was capable of creating buildings with such Grandeur. This was most definitely a statement as it is so close to the border of his Scottish realm. Therefore showing his power over the borders area ( which was a debatable land).
The Augustinian cannons would have come from France and practised contemplative solitude but would have come out of their cloisters to minister to the peoples. Living a humble existence in relative discomfort with meagre food and harsh clothing as was the order.
The Jedburgh Abbey is one of three abbeys on the Scottish border. The others being Melrose and Dryburgh. We have visited all 3 and found that the Jedburgh Abbey the most impressive, even if it doesn’t have the claim to fame that Melrose does, of having Robert the Bruce’s heart buried in its grounds.
The downside to the location of the Jedburgh Abbey was that of being on the border to England. During the middle ages there were many conflicts and also raids during the 14th and 16th centuries. This cumulative effect and that of the Protestant Reformation of 1560 led to Jedburgh’s demise as a monastic institution.
The Abbey now in ruins has many layers due to its age and changing decorative styles. Looking down the nave to the west end is lovely, with the great west rose window frame still intact. In the main it is Romanesque style architecture with delicate Gothic work such as the nave.
To see our video click here
The Second great Historic place in Jedburgh that we visited was Mary queen of Scots Residence before her death. This house and Museum are fascinating if you are interested in history. It has the original death mask said to have been taken of her decapitated body at Fotheringay Castle.
The museum is well thought out and the information is concise, to the point and so very easy to understand. The information available depicts Mary as a charming, brave and spirited woman.
The Prisoner Queen was to spend a month in Jedburgh in 1566 and stayed at this house, of a loyal powerful friend. It even has a copy of the original warrant for her death hanging on the wall and is signed by Queen Elizabeth the 1st. The warrant was signed after a presumed plot to kill Queen Elizabeth 1.
Whilst walking in the garden and admiring its beautiful peaceful surrounding, you can almost feel Mary’s spirit glide around you. A Place where Mary presumably would have walked on those Autumn nights. It would have been a turning point that led to the beginning of her troubles that lead to her death in February 1587. Below shows family tree of Elizabeth and her cousin Mary queen of Scots.
The heartfelt letter to her brother-in-law is also present in copy form and shows the depth of Mary’s conviction to Catholicism and at her imminent death, she is finally fully aware of why she has to be put to death. ( I am not sure I would be able to be so composed and benevolent facing death !!)
These are only 2 of the Great historical places to visit in Jedburgh but there is also the Jail and the Jedburgh Castle which we will probably visit on another trip. Happy travels !!