The Scottish Borders Abbeys

The Scottish Borders Abbeys

The West End Christian Walking Club recently re-visited the Borders Abbeys Way and while we meandered in this beautiful countryside we were reminded of the ancient history of these venerable sites. This poem I had written after an earlier visit to the area


Melrose Abbey


The Scottish Borders Abbeys


The River Tweed meanders past these ancient piles
Whose history recalls their triumphs and their trials
Stretching back almost one thousand years
These now ruined structures testify to hopes and fears

Melrose Abbey, Scotland’s most famous ancient ruin
Built in 1136 this monastery a blessing and a boon
Founded by monks of the Cistercian order
Mighty King Robert’s heart it still doth harbour

In 1150 beside the flowing waters of the Tweed
Dryburgh Abbey was founded, God’s faithful there to feed
Premonstratensian canons-regular from Alnwick came
To build this great gothic structure to proclaim His name

Kelso Abbey’s ruins still stand proud
900 years of history thus endowed
Since 1128 when its founding monks first raised their prayer
Its now tranquil ruins witness to a life of love and care

Each of these rustic structures reminds us of the power
And steadfast faith which was their loving dower
To all who found within their halls
The sanctuary and peace of their protective walls



Ken Fisher


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