Lost Tomb of Robert the Bruce on display

A new exhibition is to be staged at Abbotsford celbrating the bicentenary of Walter Scott’s epic poem, ‘The Lord of the Isles’.

By Sandy Brydon
Monday, 6th April 2015, 4:29 pm
Abbotsford tomb exhibition
Abbotsford tomb exhibition

‘The Lost Tomb of Robert the Bruce’ is the culmination of cutting-edge archaeological research conducted by various Scottish heritage bodies, utilising original artefacts to produce the first ever three-dimensional digital model of the Bruce Tomb.

This will be on display in the temporary exhibition room within the historic house from Saturday, April 11.

Robert the Bruce, the famed warrior King of Scotland from 1306, led Scotland to victory in the Scottish Wars of Independence and is considered a national hero.

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On his death in 1329 Bruce was buried in the choir of Dunfermline Abbey and his grave was marked by a white marble tomb imported from Paris. This monument was later destroyed, most probably during the Reformation era.

During the early 19th Century what were believed to be his remains were discovered with fragments of carved and gilded marble from the vanished tomb. These relics subsequently found their way into museum collections in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dunfermline and at least one fragment fell into the hands of one Sir Walter Scott and was discovered at Abbotsford.

The history of the Abbotsford fragment is shrouded in mystery; but Scott acquired the Entrance Hall panelling from Dunfermline Abbey in 1817-18, along with the cast of Robert the Bruce’s skull, so it is likely that the fragment arrived here around the same time. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see all the known fragments in existence, including Scott’s fragment, mounted against a graphic backdrop to illustrate the overall effect.