OK, the pics from my last post were from the walled garden at Culzean. If a sunny day is forcast then we're off and away - there have been relatively few sunny days these holidays so we try to make the most of what we get. This particular day (Wednesday last week), we headed down to Ayrshire. First we visited Crossraguel Abbey, then Culzean then Dunure. As I took so many photos (no surprises there!) I'll split the visit into several posts, this one concerns Crossraguel Abbey "one of the best preserved , most varied and most interesting of the many abbey reuins that are dotted across Scotland".
Earliest records of the abbey date from 1215. One macabre story relating to the abbey occurred in 1569. By this time the Reformation (in 1560) meant that the abbey was no longer an active religious community and a comendant had been assigned by the Crown to oversee the land and property owned by the abbey. In 1569 this commendant was forced to sign over the abbey, its lands and revenues to Gilbert Kennedy, the 4th Earl of Cassilis, his agreement to do so was obtained only because the Earl kidnapped him and had him roasted over a fire at Dunure Castle.
I'd passed the abbey before but had never visited. I hadn't realised there was so much to see, it's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area (and like ruins!). There's a tower you can climb for some lovely views and there are so many passageways and hidden nooks to explore which the children enjoyed too. The steward was very friendly and chatty. We somehow got on the subject of medieval/renasissance music, it turns out his son has recored a couple of films of him playing the gittern which he has uploaded to YouTube. I don't want to link directly, just search for Crossraguel performance on YouTube and you'll find the videos. Worth a listen, very atmospheric - the acoutics of parts of the abbey are amazing (especially if you find your way to the room where you can have a shot at carving stone, we were singing away in there!) I'd rather like a gittern now, they look and sound very attractive - I wonder if I could tune it like my uke!
Anyway, here are the photos...