The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Dryburgh Abbey

Previous - Next

Dryburgh Abbey; the Earl of Buchan. Great pains were taken with this place by a former earl, who planted an extensive orchard, many cedars of Lebanon, and other ornamental trees, and erected some ornamental buildings. We regret to say that the whole place appeared to us in a state of neglect, and no part more so than the grounds about the ruins. The sheep were injuring the fruit trees and the cedars, by rubbing against their stems, and the cattle breaking down the fences. The ruins are extensive, but they are too much encumbered with trees and shrubs, and, what is worse, with dug ground and flowers. Dug ground about an old building, when carried to any extent, always gives the idea of yesterday, and checks the feeling of veneration which would otherwise predominate. The floors of the interior of these ruins are heaped up with rubbish, and overgrown with rank plants, and there is a damp vault set round with busts of stucco, such as are sold in the streets, which are shown by the guide, who evidently thinks them of far more importance, and more deserving of attention, than the ruins themselves. The poor woman who shows these busts and gives them names knows no better; but what are we to think of the proprietor of the place, who permits such things? By nature, Dryburgh Abbey has immense advantages, and these ruins are objects of intense interest, which might be turned to good account in rendering the place worthy of respect and admiration, instead of creating, as it now does, feelings of an opposite nature.