Tour Scotland Melrose Abbey, Borders of Scotland. This is the first authoritative account of Scotland’s greatest medieval monastery. The Cistercian abbey of Melrose is perhaps the most beautiful of all Scottish monasteries. Melrose Abbey.
Melrose Abbey is a Gothic style abbey in Melrose, Scotland. It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, on the request of King David I of Scotland. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. The ruins of Melrose are widely considered among the most beautiful of religious houses in the United Kingdom, being especially notable for a wealth of well-preserved figure-sculpture, and its architecture is considered to be some of the finest in Scotland. The east end of the abbey was completed in 1146. Other buildings in the complex were added over the next 50 years. The abbey was built in the form of a St. John's cross.
Alexander II and other Scottish kings and nobles are buried at the abbey. The embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce is also said to rest on the abbey's grounds, while the rest of his body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey. In 1812, a stone coffin that some speculated was that of Michael Scot the philosopher and "wizard", was found in an aisle in the abbey's south chancel. It is known for its many carved decorative details, including likenesses of saints, dragons, gargoyles and plants. On one of the abbey's stairways is an inscription by John Morow, a master mason, that says: "Be halde to ye hende" (Keep in mind, the end, your salvation), which has become the motto of the town of Melrose.