Kelso Abbey

Kelso Abbey

 

Open all year round

 

In 1468 Robert Ker, the 4th son of Andrew Ker of Cessford was appointed Abbot of Kelso Abbey, founded as a Tironensian house in 1128. Robert remained Abbot until 1503 and members of the Cessford Kers certainly benefitted from his important and powerful position. After the disastrous defeat of the Scottish armies at Flodden in 1513 Andrew Ker of Ferniehirst (known as Dand) secured the abbey in his bid to establish a line of defence in expectation of an English attack following the battle. Dand installed his younger brother Thomas as Commendator. Thomas remained in power until 1534 eventually appointed Abbott. William Ker Godfather and Uncle to the young Laird of Cessford was Abbot from 1559 to 1556 when he was brutally murdered by the Cessford Kers on the orders of the Regent Moray. Originally Kelso Abbey was surrounded with the lands and houses attached to the monastery and the main town known as Roxburgh stood nearby beneath the great walls of Roxburgh Castle. The last Commendator, Robert Ker of Cessford, appointed in 1592 was granted full secular Lordship in 1607. Robert Ker became the 1st Earl of Roxburgh and began building his great house, now known as Floors on monastery lands.