Cambuskenneth Abbey is one of Scotland’s most important abbeys and is home to a fine collection of medieval grave slabs and architectural fragments.
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A footbridge, formerly a ferry, links the Shore to Cambuskenneth Abbey of which only the Campanile, 1300, and west doorway survive.
It is one of Scotland's greatest early gothic belltowers, restored by William Mackison in 1864. This dramatic, 3 storey tower in beautiful stonework has a vaulted ground floor and pairs of pointed windows on each face of the belltower at the belfry stage.
Cambuskenneth Abbey was founded in 1147 by David I and grew to immense wealth and considerable importance, with a similar relationship to the Royal Castle of Stirling as Holyrood Abbey had to Edinburgh. In some old charters, its abbots were described as Abbots of Stirling.
It was in Cambuskenneth that the nobility and clergy of Scotland swore fealty to David Bruce as the heir of King Robert in 1326 at the first parliament to include representatives of the burghs. It was also at Cambuskenneth Abbey in 1488 that James IIII was buried after the Battle of Sauchieburn. Of its many famous abbots, the most notable was Patrick Pantar, who became both Abbot and Secretary to James V.
At some point before 1562 the Erskine governor of Stirling Castle seems to have become the proprietor of the lands, for in that year the Queen confirmed the grant of a large portion of the monastery lands and the abbey to his nephew Adam Erskine, who was later to become Earl of Mar.