Sweetheart Abbey, New Abbey

A 13th-century Cistercian monastery now in ruins, Sweetheart Abbey nevertheless testifies to the romantic story behind its founding. In 1275 the abbey was built in honor of the late John Balliol by his widow, Dervorguilla of Galloway. Upon Dervorguilla's death, her husband's embalmed heart was buried alongside her in a silver casket, and the abbey was renamed for this act of love. Walk the grounds and view the remains of the abbey, keeping an eye out for the stone effigy of Lady Dervorgilla in the south transept--a 16th-century replica of the original. The precinct wall of massive marble boulders ranks among the most complete in Scotland. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Sweetheart Abbey by using our New Abbey day trip site .
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Sweetheart Abbey Reviews
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208 reviews
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We were heading to see the Abbey, but were advised that it is currently closed for repair and renovation was not possible. We will return soon, once it has reopened.  more »
  • We stayed in New Abbey recently and managed to get a bright, clear day to amble around these ruins. Sweetheart Abbey is tranquil, pretty and has a lovely story so is well worth a visit.  more »
  • This is one of the most beautiful set of abbey ruins. It was raining the day we visited but still got some really nice photos. We were there early in the morning and were the only people there. Highly...  more »
Google
  • Currently closed for refurbishment when we visited (March 2018) but all the same you can have a look around the outside of the abbey, and as it's in ruins you can see right through it anyway. The cemetery behind it was interesting for an explore and there's a lovely tea rooms next to the abbey we popped into afterwards. All in all a nice stop, even with the refurbishments.
  • Lovely walk and tea and cake at the tearoom. The abbey is interesting but fenced off as it is being restored. Spent some time reading the headstones on the cemetary.
  • Free entry Just NOW as renovation scaffolding being erected. Not much to see. But nice village and tearoom next to it.
  • An outstanding building with a lovely history. Just love it. So beautiful to photograph. Well worth a visit.
  • More history in a few stones than you can beat with a big stick! Built by the Lady Dervorguilla whose father was a Lord of Galloway in the 1200s. Quick history. She marries Baron John De Balliol, has family. Much later husband dies, she devastated has his heart enbalmed, put in casket, carries it with her until her death. Buried in the Abbey with said casket supposedly on her chest/body. The Abbey is called Dulce Cor, (Sweet Heart in latin) which name she gave it. Couple of other little things about the Lady Dervorguilla, she had a pilgrim bridge built over the river Nith at Dumfries around 1270, and the convent of Greyfriers in the town. She and her husband founded Balliol College, Oxford. Oh, nearly forgot, she was also the mother of a King of Scotland (John Balliol, 1292--1296). Closed for remedial work at the moment, but new viewing platform to be placed higher up on the ruins soon I have been informed! Few stones in a little village? From little ruins great stories grow! Read and be amazed.
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