The Abbey Church and Historic Environment Scotland have been working together to reopen our historic site safely and in line with government guidance. We have worked in close partnership with HES to jointly enable visitors to access both the Abbey Nave and the Abbey Church during key periods within October:
Wednesday 7th October – Saturday 10th October
Wednesday 14th October – Sunday 18th October
Wednesday 21st October – Sunday 25th October
To ensure that visitors can enjoy and explore the Nave and Church safely, it has been necessary to reduce capacity on site. To manage this, we have introduced bookable time slots. All tickets must be booked in advance (one ticket provides access to both the Nave and the Church).
There will be no admission fee.
Visitors will be asked to wear face coverings when entering the internal areas. As face coverings will not be provided, visitors must bring their own. One-way systems will be in place, and as access to the Abbey Church is via stairs, only the Abbey Nave is accessible for those with specific access requirements. Note that Dunfermline Palace will currently remains closed.
Dunfermline Abbey sits at the heart of Dunfermline, Scotland’s ancient capital. Dunfermline lies thirty minutes from the centre of Edinburgh, across the spectacular Queensferry Crossing. Dunfermline`s royal and monastic past dominates a town whose lifeblood is history. Dunfermline Abbey is the final resting place of King Robert the Bruce and the post-Iona burial site of many of the Kings and Queens of Scotland.
Robert the Bruce
When in 1818 foundation work for the building was in progress, the tomb of King Robert the Bruce (who had been buried in the Old Abbey in 1329) was rediscovered the remains were carefully reinterred within the new Church. At this stage the design of the tower over the crossing of Nave and Transepts was completely revised by William Burn to incorporate the words “KING ROBERT THE BRUCE” around the top parapet. The tomb is marked by a full size brass gifted by the Earl of Elgin in 1889.
The Carnegie Tiffany Window
The Carnegie Tiffany Window was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie in 1913 as a memorial window for his parents. However the heritage body of the time ruled that because of its pastoral design the window was not suitable. The window was then put into storage and has been installed in a number of locations outwit the Abbey. However issues with preservation meant there was an opportunity to see if it could be installed in the Abbey, as was originally planned. The Carnegie Tiffany Window was finally installed in the Abbey in 2019, 100 years after the death of Andrew Carnegie and it is now permanently displayed in a custom made mount in the Abbey Church.
The Lost Tomb
When Robert the Bruce died in 1329 he was buried in the choir of Dunfermline Abbey, and his grave marked by a tomb recorded as having been imported from Paris at the personal request of the late king. This was later destroyed probably in the Reformation era. However during the site clearance prior to the building of the present day Abbey Church fragments of carved and gilded marble, which were thought to be from the vanished tomb, were revealed.
The Lost Tomb Exhibition has a scale model reconstruction of the original tomb as well as a video with shows a 3D representation of the complete tomb placed in its original Abbey surroundings.
The Stained Glass Windows
The Abbey Church has a quite remarkable suite of large stained glass windows comprising the Sacramental Window in the East, the King Robert the Bruce Memorial Window in the North transept and the Malcolm and Margaret Window in the South transept.