A walk about of Arbroath Abbey, indoors and outdoors.
The new Vistors Center alone is a great place to visit.
The 12th Century Arbroath Abbey, in the Scottish town of Arbroath, was founded in 1178 by King William the Lion for a group of Tironensian Benedictine monks from Kelso Abbey.
King William gave the Abbey independence from its mother church and endowed it generously, including income from 24 parishes, land in every royal burgh and more. The Abbey's monks were allowed to run a market and build a harbour. King John of England gave the Abbey permission to buy and sell goods anywhere in England (except London) toll-free.
The Abbey, which was the richest in Scotland, is most famous for its association with the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, believed to have been drafted by Abbot Bernard, who was the Chancellor of Scotland under King Robert I.
Since 1947, a major historical re-enactment commemorating the Declaration's signing has been held within the roofless remains of the Abbey church. The celebration and many other events are now run by the Arbroath Abbey Time Themes a local charity, and tells the story of the events which led up to the signing. This is not an annual event; the most recent performances have been in August 2000 and 2005 but more are planned. However, a special event to mark the signing is held every year on the 6th of April and involves a street procession and short piece of street theater.
The Abbey fell into ruin after the Reformation. From 1590 onward, its stones were raided for buildings in the town of Arbroath. This continued until 1815 when steps were taken to preserve the remaining ruins.
On Christmas Day 1950, the Stone of Destiny was stolen from Westminster Abbey. On April 11, 1951, the missing stone was found lying on the site of the Abbey's altar.
In 2005 The Arbroath Abbey campaign was launched. The campaign seeks to gain World Heritage Status for the iconic Angus landmark that was the birthplace of one of Scotland's most significant documents, the Declaration of Arbroath. Campaigners believe that the Abbey's historical pronouncement makes it a prime candidate to achieve World Heritage Status. MSP Alex Johnstone wrote "Clearly, the Declaration of Arbroath is a literary work of outstanding universal significance by any stretch of the imagination" In 2008, the Campaign Group Chairman, Councillor Jim Millar launched a public petition to reinforce the bid explaining "We're simply asking people to, local people especially, to sign up to the campaign to have the Declaration of Arbroath and Arbroath Abbey recognised by the United Nations. Essentially we need local people to sign up to this campaign simply because the United Nations demand it.
An historic monument in the royal burgh of Arbroath, Angus, Arbroath Abbey was originally founded for the grey-clad monks of the order of Tiron in 1178 by King William the Lion.
It was St Thomas of Canterbury's apparent supernatural intervention in the capture of King William at Alnwick in 1174 that prompted him to establish the abbey after his return from imprisonment in Normandy.
The presbytery at the east end was the first part of the building completed by the king's death in 1214 and it was here that William the Lion was buried 19 years before the final consecration of the abbey in 1233.
The Declaration of Arbroath, which confirmed the nobility's support of Scottish independence of English domination, was signed at the abbey in 1320.
The abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland, who built a major new visitor centre which opened in 2001. This cost £1.8 million and is of a modern design, yet sympathetic to the existing structure of the abbey.
The centre provides extensive displays and allows interpretation of the abbey remains and explains the significance of the Declaration of Arbroath.