This splendid red-sandstone ruin of the late 13th century was founded by Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway, in memory of her husband Lord John Balliol.
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Sweetheart Abbey is closed until further notice due to stoneworks.
When her husband died in 1268, Lady Dervorgilla, had his heart embalmed and placed in an ivory casket which she carried everywhere with her. On her death, she was laid to rest with her husband's heart and the monks named the abbey in memory of her. Now under the care of Historic Scotland the romantic abbey is enclosed by an impressive precinct wall - a walk of massive granite boulders, ranking alongside the wall at St Andrews cathedral priory as the most complete in Scotland - and despite Scotland's turbulent history, it stands remarkably complete, in a beautiful setting nestled between the grey bulk of Criffel Hill and the shimmering waters of the Solway Firth.
Due to concerns with some areas of the stonework following a routine survey, the areas around the high remains of Sweetheart Abbey are closed until further notice. Only the low remains, cloister area and adjacent grassed areas to the south of the site are open to visitors (free of charge).
Very occasionally the property has to close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions or other reasons out with our control. Please check the Historic Scotland closures page for any unexpected site closures https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/check-for-closures/. You can also follow closure tweets from @welovehistory using #hsclosure. Alternatively please call the site before setting off to check they are open.