The most impressive of the Borders abbeys towers above Jedburgh. The abbey was nearly destroyed by the English earl of Hertford's forces in 1544–45, during the destructive time known as the Rough Wooing. This was English King Henry VIII's (1491–1547) armed attempt to persuade the Scots that it was a good idea to unite the kingdoms by the marriage of his young son to the infant Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–87); the Scots disagreed and sent Mary to France instead. The
story is explained in vivid detail at the visitor center, which also has information about the ruins and an audio tour. Ground patterns and foundations are all that remain of the once-powerful religious complex.