April 6, 2011

0 Sweetheart Abbey

Sweetheart Abbey, while a beautiful ruin, has a very unique story behind it.  In 1268, Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway lost her beloved husband, Lord John Balliol of Barnard Castle.  In her grief, she had his heart removed, embalmed, and housed in an ivory casket, which she placed on her dining table, inviting the poor and needy.  When Lady Dervorgilla died in 1289, she was buried with her husband's heart at Sweetheart Abbey, which she had established in 1273.  Some say romantic, I say creepy. 

Like most border abbeys, Sweetheart was repeated damaged during the Wars of Independence.  It survived, however, until the demise of all religious houses following the 1560 Reformation.

The west front of the Abbey, from the interior.

The east end of the church.

These ducks actually live outside of the New Abbey Corn Mill, near Sweetheart Abbey.

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