Dunfermline Palace and Abbey are the remains of a great Benedictine abbey founded by Queen Margaret in the 11th century.
Beginning as a priory founded by Malcolm’s wife, Queen Margaret, it was re-established as an abbey by her son in 1128 and is the final resting place of King Robert Bruce, notably minus his heart, along with seven other Scottish kings.
Substantial parts of the abbey buildings remain, including the vast refectory. The foundations of Queen Margaret’s church are under the present superb nave, built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style.
The abbey complex encompasses the ruins of a palace built by King James VI in the 16th century, which became home to his queen, Anna of Denmark. After the couple’s departure for London, royal interest in Dunfermline waned but the ruins of the abbey’s neighbouring palace still make for an interesting discovery. This was the birthplace of Charles I, the last monarch born in Scotland.
The refectory floor, kitchen area and lower floor of the palace together with the upper floor and stone display in the gatehouse are not suitable for visitors using wheelchairs and three steps lead to the shop. All paths in the grounds are accessible. They have a gravel surface and there are flagstones within the abbey.
Access to the nave is unrestricted. Palace entry is from Pittencrief Park with limited access for visitors using wheelchairs. There are stone carvings in the nave and abbey grounds, along with flowers and plants.