Lindores Abbey

Lindores Abbey
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Lindores Abbey

The ruins of a foundation of the Tironensian Order established in 1178 (although some sources give 1190), situated on the eastern outskirts of Newburgh in NW Fife, 1½ miles (2.5 km) northwest of the village of Lindores. It was founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, younger brother of King Malcolm IV and William the Lion. The site comprises cruciform church with a NW tower now largely reduced to foundations, a cloister and associated buildings, together with a fine round-arched gateway to the southwest.

Known as the 'spiritual home' of Scotch Whisky, the monks are known to have cultivated fruit and grown cereals in the area, but it was one, named John Cor, who was the first recorded distiller of whisky, with written evidence in the Exchequer Rolls of 1494 of its supply to King James IV. The monks were ousted during the Reformation in the 16th Century and subsequently the greater part of the abbey's red sandstone has been plundered for local house building. Wooden panels from the Abbey survive in the Laing Museum, Newburgh, and in St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Dundee.

The ruins are A-listed and represent a Scheduled Ancient Monument but remain in private ownership.

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