"Pluscarden" Scotland Things to Do Tip by iandsmith

Scotland Things to Do: 1,337 reviews and 2,738 photos

  The ancient tombstones
by iandsmith
  • The ancient tombstones - Scotland
      The ancient tombstones
    by iandsmith
  • The old and new brickwork - Scotland
      The old and new brickwork
    by iandsmith
  • Lovely countryside adjacent to the abbey - Scotland
      Lovely countryside adjacent to the abbey
    by iandsmith
  • Superb stained glass - Scotland
      Superb stained glass
    by iandsmith
  • More of the same - Scotland
      More of the same
    by iandsmith

All this happened at one of Northern Scotland's most unusual attractions and one which is unique in Britain - Pluscarden Abbey - near Elgin. It's the only medieval monastery in Britain still inhabited by monks and being used for its original purpose. Founded in 1230 by Alexander II, its site in a sheltered, south-facing glen of farmed fields (pic 3) set against a background of forested hillside adds to its beauty.
The road to Pluscarden winds south-west across the wooded countryside around Elgin and Forres in north eastern Scotland. The atmosphere of quiet reflection and of work dedicated to the glory of God is the same today as it was in the thirteenth century when an organised community of monks first came to this part of Morayshire. Under the skilful hands of the present-day brethren, Pluscarden Abbey is a living entity that is returning again to something approaching its former splendour after so long a period of pillage and decay. If you are privileged to visit the Abbey today, you will enjoy not only the beauty of its architecture and its setting, but also something of the restful atmosphere of devotion that has so deeply permeated this little corner of Scotland.
The much restored abbey shows the effort that has gone on, particularly in the walls where the fresh concrete shows up in direct contrast to some of the ancient brickwork. (pic 2)
One feature, often overlooked by others, is the stunning stained glass. It's a local product and is actually exported to other countries, so dramatic is it. (pic 4 & 5)

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  • Updated Jan 3, 2006
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