Lindores

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Lindores, a village in Abdie parish, and an ancient abbey in Newburgh parish, Fife. The village lies 2 miles SE of Newburgh, near the railway line from Ladybank to Perth. Near its E end traces of an ancient castle, supposed by the natives to have belonged to Macduff, `Thane of Fife, ' were discovered about 1800. While the workmen were digging into the ruins, they came on a ` small apartment with a shelved recess, upon which lay a piece of folded cloth, which, on exposure to the air, soon dissolved and disappeared.' In the neighbourhood of the castle there was fought, on 12 June 1298, the battle of Black Irnsyde or Earnside, between Wallace and the Earl of Pembroke, in which the English were worsted. Lindores Loch extends 7 furlongs from SE to NW, and has an utmost width of 2 1/3 furlongs. The railway passes along the south-western shore, and the north-eastern is fringed by the grounds of Inchrye Abbey. It is well stocked with fish.

Lindores Abbey, situated on ground rising gently from the Tay, ¼ mile E of Newburgh, was founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, in 1178 (according to Fordoun), but more probably about 1196. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St Andrew the Apostle, and endowed for monks of the Benedictine Order. To Guido, the first abbot, Lindores mainly owed its size and importance. From the remains, it is possible to guess its extent and character. `The church,' says Laing, `was 195 feet in length, and the transepts were 110 feet from N to S. The most perfect portion of the abbey remaining is the groined arch of the porch which formed the entrance to the abbey through the cloister court. The ruins have recently been cleared of superincumbent rubbish, and the ground plan and style of the buildings are now clearly seen; they belong to the Early English or First Pointed style, which prevailed in Scotland at the period of their erection.' The abbey grew gradually in size and riches, being endowed with property of various kinds, and those who held the chief office in it took a leading part in the affairs of the Catholic Church in Scotland. From time to time it was visited by kings and nobles: by Edward I. (1291), John Baliol (1294), Sir William Wallace (1298), David II. The unfortunate Duke of Rothesay, who died 27 March 1402, was buried there. According to Boece, his body `kithit meraklis mony yeris eftir, quhil at last King James the First began to punis his slayaris; and fra that time furth, the miraclis ceissit.' In Lindores Abbey James, ninth Earl of Douglas, passed the last five years of his life in retirement, after thirty years spent in struggling against King James II. and King James III. He died there on 15 April 1488. In 1510 Lindores was erected into a regality, which conferred large powers upon the abbot. In 1543 the monks were expelled for a short time from the abbey; and in 1559, as Knox writes, they were well reformed, their mass books and missals burnt, as well as their ` idols and vestments of idolatry.' John Leslie, the last Abbot of Lindores, who held the abbacy ` in trust,' or in commendam, took an active part in the intrigues of the time of Queen Mary. He was a warm supporter of the queen. He was appointed abbot in 1566, and died in 1596. Lindores Abbey soon passed into secular hands, the monks were ejected, and its large revenues fell to Sir Patrick Leslie, who was created first Lord Lindores. Although greatly harmed at the Reformation, Lindores was not completely destroyed. Its almost perfect demolition was caused by its being afterwards regarded as a convenient quarry from which to obtain stones for building purposes. The consequence is, that very few traces of it remain, the chief being ` the groined arch of the principal entrance, ' a portion of the chancel-walls, and about 8 feet of the western tower. The ruins have now been cleared from débris, etc., and what remains can be properly seen. The title of Lord Lindores was acquired in 1600 by the Leslie family, and became dormant at the death of its seventh holder in 1775. The mansion beside the loch was built on his estate of Lindores by Admiral Sir Frederick Maitland, K.C.B. (1779-1839), who received Napoleon on board the Bellerophon after Waterloo.—Ord. Sur., sh. 48, 1868. See Lindores Abbey and its Burgh of Newburgh, by Alexander Laing, F.S.A.Scot. (Edinb. 1876).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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