Crossaguel Abbey
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Cors Regal (Crosraguel) Abbey - Scotland Artist: Hooper; Engraver: Saprrow. From the original description: Crosraguel Abbey stands in Carrick, one of the subdivisions of the Shire of Air, and in the parish of Kirkoswald, two miles from Maybole. This was a Cluniac abbey, founded y Duncan, son of Gilbert, Earl of Carrick, in the year 1244, as we were informed by the Chartulary of Paisley. There is a charter of King Robert Bruce to this place, which he therein calls Croceragmer de Terra Dungrelach, given at Berwick the eighteenth year of his reign, and also confirmation of all the churches and lands granted to it by Duncan Neil Robert, his father.

There is no building in our neighbourhood so well deserving of attention as Crossraguel Abbey. It was built about six hundred years ago by Duncan, Earl of Carrick, who lived at Turnberry, although it has passed through many changes since then; and it is not at all unlikely that our great king Robert may have worshipped within our Abbey's walls, and even received part of his education from its inmates.

Crossraguel has been twice demolished. The first was by Henry Percy in 1307. It was he who held Turnberry Castle for Edward I., and whose outlying force was put to the sword by Bruce. Forced to decamp after this defeat, he took the poor revenge of burning the modest edifice of old Earl Duncan before he left. Rebuilt on a grander scale, the Abbey stood intact till the Reforming Leaders decreed its destruction in 1561. But even then it did not quite vanish. Abbot Quintin, backed up by his nephew, the Earl of Cassillis, refused to budge from his house. He lost no chance of showing his contempt for the new authorities, and tossed their order to pay over to them the third of his benefice into the fire; He lived in his half demolished Abbey, openly celebrating the Mass, as though the Reformers were a mere parcel of rioters. His bold example encouraged the monks to return to their former quarters, and as late as 1592, some of them were still living in the Abbey, being probably the latest monks in residence in Lowland Scotland.

No doubt the errors of the Roman Catholic creed had something to do with the Reformation, but the main moving force was the ignorance, the indolence, the greed, and, above all, the profligacy of the monks. They sowed the wind, and they reaped the whirlwind. They were eating and drinking, marrying secretly, and giving in marriage openly, until, at last, the flood came and took them all away. As an old Scottish ballad writer observed:

Had not yourself began the weiris
Your steepilis had been standand yit;
It was the flattery of your friers
That ever gart Sanet Francis flit.
Ye grew sa superstitious
In wickedness;
It gart us grow malicious
Contrair your Messe.

There is no Abbey in Scotland which is so complete in all its parts as Crossraguel, and none accordingly which could be set agoing again with less cost or trouble, The church has been the most severely dealt with, but the Sacristy and the Chapter House, the Cloisters and the Cellars, the Gatehouse Tower and the Scriptorium are all nearly intact, and one almost expects, as he wanders among the ruins, to see a monk coming round the corner with his bare feet and shaven crown. The Gatehouse or Abbot's Tower was built shortly before the Reformation. It consists of two apartments-a Porter's Room on the first floor, with a Guest Chamber above, and a Watch Tower over all. At one of our Sabbath open-air meetings in the Cloister Square the following verses were sung:

In this deserted house of God,
As once in former days,
We meet to raise with one accord
The sacred song of praise;
The naked feet that trod these courts,
The hearts that lived to pray,
The hands that fed the homeless poor,
Have all now passed away.

But still the God they loved and served
Lives and endures for aye,
The ear that heard our fathers' prayers
Will hear our prayers to-day.
May He who is Eternal Life
Give us that life alway,
And may He prove our hiding-place
When heart and flesh decay.

Text above from "Places of Interest about Maybole with Sketches of Persons of Interest" 
by Rev. R. Lawson.
Published 1891