Sunday, September 24, 2006

Abbeys - oh, and a castle - 9 September 2006

KippfordThe perfect weather forecast for the weekend made today's trip down the coast road from Kilmarnock to Dumfries a real treat.

Glenluce AbbeyAlong the south coast are a number of ruined abbeys, the first, Glenluce, had a fascinating display of interlocking clay water pipes: they looked 21st century not mediaeval. Each pipe was marked so that the system could be lifted for cleaning and replaced with every pipe back in the correct location.
Sweetheart Abbey

Whithorn Priory, the next, was the birthplace of Christianity in Europe. However, the abbey we liked best was Mill pond at New Abbey Sweetheart Abbey. It is so named because the founder, Lady Devorgilla, is buried holding her husband's embalmed heart.

Before Sweetheart Abbey, we made a stop at a castle in a most romantic setting.Threave Castle Threave Castle is the only Castle in Scotland on an island in a river. Visitors are ferried across to explore the ruins including the remains of the little castle harbour which still exists: a magical place to visit on such a lovely day.

13th century bridge at DumfriesDumfries is a very attractive town, built in striking red stone. No doubt we saw it at its best, arriving in the late afternoon with the setting sun illuminating the perfect relections in the river spanned by four handsome bridges: the oldest of these was built in the 13th century by Lady Devorgilla, using the same red stone as Sweetheart Abbey. We enjoyed walking around the town on a surprisingly warm September evening.
Dumfries from across the river

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