Holyrood Abbey; Interior
Photographer: Wilson, George Washington (1823-1893)
Medium: Photographic print
“The abbey and palace of Holyrood, though connected and long alike used for royal purposes, are of very different dates and in very different conditions. The abbey is ancient, and is now reduced to the mere ruins of the nave of the church, which, as you face the palace, is joined to the posterior angle of that building on the left hand…The abbey was founded by David I., who was famous for his piety, and, having been a resident at the court of Henry I. of England, had seen how much was there doing for the church by such foundations. It was built early in the twelfth century, and David sent to St. Andrew’s for a number of canons regular to inhabit it. It soon became rich by successive endowments of lands and churches in different counties…The different Scottish kings, though residing chiefly in the castle perched on its noble rock at the other extremity of Edinburgh, frequently passed much time in the abbey. The queen of James I. of Scotland was delivered of twins in the abbey; and James II., one of these twins, was crowned in it in 1427. He was married in it in 1449 to Mary of Guelder, and he was buried in it in 1460. Thus James II. was born, crowned, married, and buried in the abbey of Holyrood. James III., whenever he resided in Edinburgh, took up his quarters in the abbey. James IV. was the builder of the palace, for the Scottish monarchs seem greatly to have preferred its sheltered situation to the exposed one of the castle…”
Excerpt from “Holyrood Abbey and Palace”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.