Scheduled Monument

Kelso AbbeySM90177

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Ecclesiastical: abbey
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 72941 33708
372941, 633708


This monument is the remains of one of the series of abbeys founded by David I in the early twelfth century. It was a Tironesian house which was well endowed and, being so close to Roxburgh, had close royal connections. James III was crowned here.

The upstanding remains of the abbey are the west end of the church which is unusual in Scotland in having a western transept. The abbey church was finished in 1243. The remains show a vigorous use of rising arcades, both blind and open, to enliven the high towers. Two arches of the south nave arcade still stand as does the outer parlour and a trefoil doorway now built into the neighbouring monument to the Dukes of Roxburghe.

A monastery of this importance would have covered a large area and excavations in the 1970's revealed part of the south east transept and an infirmary range further east. Doubtless other remains survive elsewhere in the vicinity.

The area to be scheduled is bounded to the south by the River Tweed, to the west by Bridge Street, to the north by the church yard of Kelso Old Parish Church and to the east by Glebe Lane. Principal exclusions to the scheduling are all post-monastic stuctures above the ground which are not in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland and all plots of ground where burial rights exist. The area measures a maximum of 300m N-S by 220m and is marked in red on the accompanying map.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Kelso Abbey

Find out more

Related Designations


    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to Kelso Abbey

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 04/03/2021 03:38