Argyll, Scotland

Saddell Abbey, Argyll, Scotland

Cistercian Monks

Not much remains of the buildings of Saddell Abbey, remote on the Kintyre peninsular. The Abbey was founded around 1160 by Somerled, the Lord of the Isles. Of the buildings only part of the church survives, much of the rest was used to build nearby Saddell Castle which is also a small ruin today.

The most important thing at Saddell Abbey is the collection of carved gravestones which today stand upright inside a rather ugly construction the locals call "the bus shelter" (see picture above). Carving schools were founded during the period 1350-1500 in Argyll and it seems more than likely that Saddell Abbey was one of these. The carvings are wonderful survivals and have a dynamism and energy even 600 years or so after their creation. All they need now is a decent structure in which to be preserved!

Saddell Abbey is owned by Historic Scotland.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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and Shaun Runham
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