Mike’s Choice : Cambuskenneth Abbey

The 13th century Cambuskenneth Abbey sits close to Stirling and the River Forth  and was founded by King David I whose residence of Stirling Castle was close by. It was occupied by the canons of the Augustinian Order who brought their ministry into the wider world.  They moved outwith the confines of the Abbey as well as spreading the influence of the monarch in the running of the kingdom almost like medieval civil servants.

King Robert the Bruce held a Parliament here shortly after his victory at Bannockburn against the English in 1314.

Today the site includes the ancient bell tower dating back to the 1200s. Other areas were affected by looting and destruction but the tower avoided destruction probably because it was a useful lookout over the flat Carse or floodplains of the River Forth. It is possible to see the marks of musket balls which pepper the walls. Also amongst the surviving ruined walls  of the Abbey and Monastery can be seen the arch of the great west door.

Another highlight is the tomb of King James III of Scots as well as his Queen, Princess Margaret of Denmark.  James III was the victim of a murder conspiracy after his defeat at the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488. The mystery of the king’s assassin remains till this day with the possible implication of his son James IV of Scots.


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