One of the most historic monuments in Scotland.
The remains of Arbroath Abbey stand proud in the center of the town of Arbroath. Founded in 1178 and built from sandstone, the abbey is most famous for its association with the ‘Declaration of Arbroath’. This was a declaration of Scottish independence in the form of a letter submitted to Pope John XXII in 1320.
Time has not been kind to the structure of the abbey – sandstone is not a material known for its durability. Originally it would have been protected by a layer of render. The one iconic piece still standing is the south transept with is distinctive window known as the ‘Round O’. It was originally lit up as a beacon for mariners and this feature gave rise to the colloquial name for inhabitants of Arbroath: ‘Red Lichties’ (licht being Scots dialect for ‘light’)
Recently, more effort has been made to preserve and protect the Abbey. I can remember as a child that Abbey Street ran through the site – yes, you could drive your car through the abbey, under one of the archways! Although you have to treat the place with more respect now, it is still possible to get right in and around it to take some interesting shots.