Why Dunfermline’s Abbey and Palace are well worth a visit
Ideally situated in Central Scotland within close proximity to Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth, Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland until 1603. In Dunfermline Abbey, the town has arguably the most significant Royal site in the country.
Dunfermline Abbey and Palace is the standout highlight of the town. With the newer part of the abbey still functioning as an active parish church, the abbey church contains the tombs of 22 Scottish kings and queens, the most famous being that of the legendary Robert the Bruce himself. Built originally in the 11th Century (eventually ascending to an abbey in 1128) the Romanesque architectecture is magnificent to this day. With regards Robert the Bruce, he was buried here in 1329, except from his heart, which was sent to Melrose. Nice and grizzly, such was the times. A intricate plaque in the abbey floor signifies his resting spot.
Just a few steps from Dunfermline Abbey lies the Palace. King James VI had this built in 1589 for his queen, Anna of Denmark, as a wedding present. It then went on to become the birthplace of King Charles the First, the last king ever to be born in Scotland. Unfortunately now in a state of disrepair, only the cellars, kitchen and south wall remain.
Today, Dunfermline has all you could expect from a Scottish town of its size. A good range of shops and amenities can be found but with a clear salute to the historical significance of the town always evident. Look out for the regular tributes to Dunfermline’s most famous son, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), who’s prowess as an industrialist and philanthropist made him one of the world’s richest and admired men. For those with less of an interest in history, Knockhill Racing Circuit and Deep Sea World offer excellent alternatives within easy driving distance.