Apr-Sep: 9.30am-5.30pm; rest of year: 10am-4pm - closed 25-26 Dec and 1-2 Jan
The abbey was founded by William the Lion (1143-1214) in 1178 on his return from captivity, in memory of his childhood friend, Thomas Beckett, who had been murdered in Canterbury Cathedral eight years previously. The building was completed in 1233. A historic event took place here: the Declaration of Arbroath was drawn up and signed in the abbey on 6 April 1320, eloquently asserting Scotland's independence. It was dispatched to Pope John XXII, in exile in Avignon.
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