Postcard from Arbroath Abbey, founded in 1178 and famed for the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath

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Arbroath Abbey – photo credit: L. Flewelling

Arbroath Abbey was founded by King William the Lion in 1178, and was home to monks until the Scottish Reformation.  At that point, the abbey fell into a state of disrepair, and there are only a few areas that you can actually go “inside” today.

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Arbroath Abbey – photo credit: L. Flewelling

The Declaration of Arbroath, issued in 1320, was a letter to Pope John XXII asserting the independence of Scotland.  It seems apt to quote its most famous passage:

As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

We visited there on a sunny January day as part of a larger postgraduate trip, which was truly wonderful.

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Arbroath Abbey – photo credit: L. Flewelling

Historic Scotland: Arbroath Abbey

National Archives of Scotland: Declaration of Arbroath

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