The Abbey

Abbey_Air1 The Abbey was founded in 1142 by Cistercian Monks from Rievaulx in Yorkshire.  All Cistercian abbeys are built in similar surroundings  – running water, seclusion  and in a wooded area.

Dundrennan Abbey existed as an abbey until the 16th Century, the last abbot being  John Maxwell,  after that it was run by a Commendator until the  17th century when it began to run into disrepair.  In fact some  17th century maps have it listed as a quarry.  Many properties in the village and surrounding area have stones from the abbey.  The spire of Kirkcudbright Tolbooth is partly built with stone from Dundrennan (  much to the annoyance of local school children!).
After the building ceased as an abbey  the abbey church was still used as the Parish Church of Rerrick before the ‘new’ church was built at Upper Rerrick.. This church was built with stones from the Abbey and when the church in the village was built  in 1865 stone were used from the Upper Rerrick church to  construct the back wall.  Thus showing a continuation of Christian worship for many centuries.


Auchnabony Farm, about a mile from the village,  has a pig as part of its  sign.  This was where the monks kept their pigs as it was far enough away  so they could not smell them!

The Bridge to the north east of the village was built by the monks and is believed to be the oldest bridge in Scotland.  When first built it was supported on two square ribs which formed a nearly perfect  round arch.