The story of Melrose Abbey extends back to some time before 650AD, though its origins are at a place now known as Old Melrose (called Mailros at the time) which stands in a loop in the River Tweed some 2.5 miles east of the monastery you see today. ..

Old Melrose, was destroyed by Kenneth Mac Alpin, King of the Scots, in 839. The site was later used as a place of retreat and it is possible that a church continued in use there for centuries after the monastery’s destruction. 

In 1136 King David I asked Cistercian monks from Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire to found an abbey in Melrose. David intended this to be on the site of St Aidan’s earlier monastery at Mailros, suggesting the location was still seen as having religious significance. The Cistercians, however, needed good farming land within which to place their abbey, and appear to have been successful in their negotiations with the king. The end result was the establishment of a monastery a little further west at a place then called Little Fordell. Today this is known as Melrose.

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Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders


Traces of the Past is a recurrent photo challenge that happens every month, and this is the fourth year it has been running. Next month you’ll be able to participate in Traces of the Past in Black and White for one of the two Black & White Sundays. You are free to choose whatever traces of the past you can find. It does not have to be a distant one, or rich in history; it can be something personal, or it can even have a human form. Just make sure to post for it before next Thursday and to link to this blog. Wishing you all a special and happy Thursday!

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  1. I feel a serious shortage of palaces and cathedrals around here. The best I seem to be able to do is old, wooden churches. That is a magnificent photograph. I love the texture of the stone walls. Gorgeous.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you kindly, Marilyn. I think that the lack of palaces and cathedrals actually leads you to think more creatively for this challenge. I love your latest subject. It is soooo inviting 😀 xx



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  5. Beautiful ruins. My great -Grandmother was Margaret Melrose prior to her marriage and in the research my brother has done they are traced back to Melrose, although Margaret herself was living in Motherwell prior to emigrating to Australia, about 50 kms away from Melrose. So seeing your photo has a personal significance for me as well. This week I have also chosen the ruins of a church but in a different part of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

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