The Borders and the Southwest Sights

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Sweetheart Abbey

Sweetheart Abbey Review

At the center of the village of New Abbey is the red-tinted and roofless Sweetheart Abbey. The odd name is a translation of the abbey's previous name, St. Mary of the Dolce Coeur. The abbey was founded in 1273 by the Lady of Galloway, Devorgilla (1210–90), who, it is said, had her late husband's heart placed in a tiny casket that she carried everywhere. After she died, she was laid to rest in Sweetheart Abbey with the casket resting on her breast. The couple's son John (1249–1315) was the puppet king installed in Scotland by Edward of England when the latter claimed sovereignty over Scotland. After John's appointment the Scots gave him a scathing nickname that would stay with him for the rest of his life: Toom Tabard (Empty Shirt).

    Contact Information

  • Address: A710, 7 miles south of Dumfries, New Abbey, DG2 8BU | Map It
  • Phone: 01387/253849
  • Cost: £4.50
  • Hours: Apr.–Sept., daily 9:30–5:30; Oct., daily 9:30–4:30; Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Wed. and weekends 9:30–4:30
  • Website:
  • Location: Dumfries
Updated: 10-08-2013

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