In response to this weeks photographic challenge, the builders of Dunfermline Abbey were being ‘careful‘ when they built the flying buttresses around both sides of the building.
Queen Margaret, the wife of Malcolm III, set up the original church/monastery at Dunfermline in the late 11th century, by inviting monks up to Scotland from Canterbury in southern England, 450 miles south. Her son, David I, continued the development of the priory and converted it to Abbey status in 1128.
When Edward I invaded Scotland in 1303, he used Dunfermline Abbey as his winter base. He subsequently destroyed the monks living quarters when he left, but left the church untouched. Rebuilding began almost immediately, aided by Robert the Bruce (whose name can be seen around the four sides of the Abbey tower).
Building continued for a further 250 years, but by the time of the Reformation in 1560, the monastic way of life was in a decided decline. During the early days of the Reformation, much of the Abbey was sacked, but by 1570, work had already begun to create a new ‘parish church’ from the remains of Dunfermline Abbey. A new roof was added, as were the massive flying buttresses seen below.
Following a conversation I had with someone on Facebook, I’ve discovered a wee bit of extra information about the top photo on this post, which shows the flying buttresses of the South wall of the Abbey.
The wall facing you on this particular photo is part of the Wardlaw Crypt.
Queen Anne of Denmark gave it to her chamberlain, Henry Wardlaw of Pitreavie, when it was realised that James VI and his heirs would no longer need the crypt, after inheriting the throne of England.
The Wardlaw Crypt was built over the southeast door to the Abbey in 1614, but in 1903 the door was rediscovered. It was then re-opened up in 1905, thus shortening the original size of the vault. This can clearly be seen when visiting the Abbey.
BTW In case anyone is interested, my Facebook Page is at https://www.facebook.com/Fife-Photos-and-Art-876703825718122/ and my profile is name Andy Baskerville.