The abbey is on the site of two earlier structures, a Celtic church and an 11th-century house of worship, founded by Queen Margaret (later St. Margaret) and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Culdee Church, from the 5th and 6th centuries, was rebuilt in 1072. Traces of both buildings are visible beneath gratings in the floor of the old nave. In 1150, the church was replaced with a large abbey, the nave of which remains and is an example of Norman architecture. Later, St. Margaret's shrine, the northwest baptismal porch, the spire on the northwest tower, and the flying buttresses were added. While Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland, 22 royal personages were buried in the abbey. However, the only visible memorial or burial places known are those of Queen Margaret and King Robert the Bruce, whose tomb lies beneath the pulpit.
The once-royal palace of Dunfermline stands adjacent to the abbey. The palace witnessed the birth of Charles I and James I. The last king to reside here was Charles II, in 1651. Today, only the southwest wall remains of this formerly gargantuan edifice.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Dunfermline Abbey and Palace
Ask Dunfermline Locals about Dunfermline Abbey and Palace
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- tel: 01383/739-026
- St. Margaret's St. (10-min. walk from train station.)
- Apr-Sept daily 9:30am-5:30pm; Oct-Mar daily 9:30am-4:30pm
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