Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Crossraguel

Crossraguel, a ruined Clugniac abbey in Kirkoswald parish, Ayrshire, 2 miles SW of Maybole. It seems to have derived its name (Lat. Crux Regalis, 'king's cross") from a cross of St Oswald, King of Northumbria (ob. 643), but itself was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was founded about 1240 by Duncan, first Earl of Carrick, for Clugniacs of Paisley, from which it was made exempt in 1244. The last of its abbots, Quentin Kennedy, in 1562 held a famous dispute with John Knox at Maybole; he died in 1564, when a pension of £500 a year was conferred upon George Buchanan out of the abbey's revenues. Their bulk was granted to Allan Stewart, who, as commendator visiting the bounds of Crossraguel in 1570, was pounced on by Quentin's nephew, Gilbert, fourth Earl of Cassillis, and carried off to the seacastle of Dunure, there, in the Black Vault, to be 'roasted in sop' until he consented to subscribe 'a fiveyear tack and a nineteen-year tack and a charter of feu of all the lands of Crossragnel, with all the clauses necessar for the great King of Carrick to haste him to hell' (Chambers's Dom. Ann., i. 65-67). To the Earl's desire, however, to turn it to his own account we probably owe the partial preservation of the abbey. Its ruins, Second Pointed in style, comprise some portions of the domestic buildings on the S side, the walls of the church, and the square chapter-house, with high arched roof upborne by a clustered pillar. The roofless church is a narrow aisleless oblong, measuring internally 160 by 25 feet, and divided nearly midway by a gabled wall, containing a doorway. The choir ends in a three-sided apse, and retains an aumbry, sedilia, and an altar tomb. See vol. ii. of Grose's Antiquities of Scotland (1791), and vol. i. of Billings' Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities (1845).

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a ruined Clugniac abbey"   (ADL Feature Type: "historical sites")
Administrative units: Kirkoswald ScoP       Ayrshire ScoCnty
Place names: CROSSRAGUEL     |     CRUX REGALIS

Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.