Abbey St. Bathans
Abbey St Bathans is a community
Community council
A community council is a public representative body in Great Britain.In England they may be statutory parish councils by another name, under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, or they may be non-statutory bodies...

 in Berwickshire
Berwickshire or the County of Berwick is a registration county, a committee area of the Scottish Borders Council, and a lieutenancy area of Scotland, on the border with England. The town after which it is named—Berwick-upon-Tweed—was lost by Scotland to England in 1482...

 in the eastern part of the Scottish Borders
Scottish Borders
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 local government council areas of Scotland. It is bordered by Dumfries and Galloway in the west, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian in the north west, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian to the north; and the non-metropolitan counties of Northumberland...


Although its name suggests a larger foundation, Abbey St Bathans was originally a priory
A priory is a house of men or women under religious vows that is headed by a prior or prioress. Priories may be houses of mendicant friars or religious sisters , or monasteries of monks or nuns .The Benedictines and their offshoots , the Premonstratensians, and the...

 of Cistercian Nuns
Cistercian nuns
Cistercian nuns are female members of the Cistercian Order, a religious order belonging to the Roman Catholic branch of the Catholic Church.-History:...

. It was sanctified and then used as a retreat by the sisters who formed the community at Haddington
Haddington, East Lothian
The Royal Burgh of Haddington is a town in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the main administrative, cultural and geographical centre for East Lothian, which was known officially as Haddingtonshire before 1921. It lies about east of Edinburgh. The name Haddington is Anglo-Saxon, dating from the 6th...

 and at Nunraw, under the patronage of Ada, Countess of Dunbar and her husband Patrick, Earl of Dunbar
Patrick I, Earl of Dunbar
Patrick I , Earl of Dunbar and lord of Beanley, was a 13th century Anglo-Scottish noble.He was the eldest son of Waltheof, Earl of Dunbar and Alina, and succeeded to his father's titles upon the latter's death in 1182....


Though the original location of the monastic accommodation is unknown today, there is a stone on one side of the glen known as the Abbey Stone. While there are no religious houses in the village today, there is a small church in the square. A Minister is shared with nearby hamlet of Longformacus
Longformacus is a small village in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. It is around north-west of Duns, in the Lammermuir Hills. The Dye Water runs through the village, flowing east towards its confluence with the Whiteadder Water nearby...

. The dedication is to Saint Bathan  the second abbot of Iona
Abbot of Iona
The Abbot of Iona was the head of Iona Abbey during the Middle Ages and the leader of the monastic community of Iona, as well as the overlord of scores of monasteries in both Scotland and Ireland, including Durrow, Kells and, for a time, Lindisfarne...


In the mid-1960s a deposit or "midden" was found by the existing church, on the river bank where such a "tip" would logically be located. This contained many shards of pottery which were identified as mediaeval by the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh. This suggests that the monastery was located in the riverside meadow area around the existing church, and a dig would probably reveal some of the structure. This deposit was discovered and excavated by Mrs. E. K. Robb, whose family used to holiday in the farm.

The majority of the surrounding land is owned by various members of the Dobie family—the oldest brother being the Laird of the demesne.

Some of the woodland has been used by the Forestry Commission
Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. Its mission is to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment....

 at various times, but now this is not the case.

The village

The village proper is based around 'The Square', where the church, a telephone and some houses are located. Abbey St Bathans is situated beside the Whiteadder Water
Whiteadder Water
Whiteadder Water is a river in East Lothian and Berwickshire, Scotland. It also flows for a very short distance through Northumberland before joining the River Tweed...

. The Southern Upland Way
Southern Upland Way
Opened in 1984, the Southern Upland Way is a coast to coast walk in Scotland between Portpatrick in the west and Cockburnspath in the east....

 and the Sir Walter Scott Way
Sir Walter Scott Way
The Sir Walter Scott Way is a long distance path in the Scottish Borders of Scotland, in memory of Sir Walter Scott, of one of Scotland's greatest writers.-The Way:...

 pass through the village. The SYHA used to have a youth hostel in the village to support walkers, however it has been closed a for number of years.

Another local attraction is The Riverside, a small restaurant further down river. It is located next to a fish farm.

Nearby are the remains of the historic, Edin's Hall Broch
Edin's Hall Broch
Edin's Hall Broch is a 2nd century broch near Duns in the Borders of Scotland. It is one of very few brochs found in southern Scotland. It is roughly 27m in diameter.-External links:...

 —an Iron Age defensive structure.

Abbey St Bathans House

The house began, probably in the early 19th century (a datestone of 1694 is of unknown provenance) as a thatched cottage ornée, set at the base of a knoll with the ground falling away steeply to the north to the Whiteadder Water
Whiteadder Water
Whiteadder Water is a river in East Lothian and Berwickshire, Scotland. It also flows for a very short distance through Northumberland before joining the River Tweed...

. It was built for the Turnbull family. This earlier core is identifiable at the centre of the entrance front as a two-bay section with first-floor dormers rising through the eaves, and with a salient gabled section at its northern end terminating the north-west range.

Later extensions, especially in the 1870s, retain something of the original character, if not the scale, in the plethora of traceried bargeboards, dormers, and barley-sugar chimneystacks. The detailing of the north-west front is more overtly Baronial, having a central tower-like pavilion with chamfered corners at the upper levels, a tall pyramidal roof, and a quadrant bartizan at the north-east angle. There are attractive interiors, particularly the stair with twisted balusters and timber arcading. Many fittings were moved here in the 1880s by Dorothea Veitch from Bassendean House.

On the estate are a picturesque lodge, stables and groom’s cottage, and an artfully composed Z-plan complex including gamekeeper’s cottage and kennels.

In 2006 the house was in multiple occupation.
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