Walk and Wonder at Kinloss Abbey

Walking towards Findhorn, I saw a sign for Kinloss Abbey and wondered, did it have a graveyard? Curiously, I headed in that direction. Within the Abbey grounds was an information board discussing the history and architectural design. It revealed its story of a place founded in 1150 by King David I and colonised by Cistercian monks from Melrose Abbey.

The burial ground is still in uses so there is a variety of old and new graves. I wandered around the abbey and listened to my surrounding. It was quiet and peaceful, just as it should be. The only noise was the rustle of the wind on the bushes and occasional bird song. I walked over to the ruined abbey and looked up at a ribbed vaulted ceiling, its architecture fascinated me as the construction seems to defy gravity. The keystone is as strong as they day it was built and is the final piece, locking the whole structure into position. The cross-like keystone bears the weight of gravity and stone. The craftsmanship of stonemasons has stood the test of time. 

I quietly drifted in between the gravestones and the stories they evoked, only to return to the reality of an open sarcophagus carved in stone. As this was a stark reminder about the bodies that decayed beneath my feet. 

Many of the graves had well preserved carvings and this highlighted the quality of Moray’s quarried stone. I found many graves of sea merchants, sailors, and even a sailmaker. Yet, one gravestone stuck in my mind and it was the Adam’s family flagstone grave. It was erected in the a memory of a daughter who was the widow of a Findhorn Knight! Who was this knight? Was he a member of the elusive Scottish Templar Knights? Or was he a knighted landowner? Later in the day, I asked a retired fisherman if he knew anything about a Findhorn Knight. He gazed at the sea, laughed and said, “I… a good night can be had in Findhorn”.

For further information about Kinloss Abbey, please visit kinlossabbey.org