Masons' Marks Project

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Founded by King William the Lion in 1178 and consecrated in 1197. He was buried before the high altar in 1214. Part of the lower floor of the Abbot's House is of 13th century date with later building in the 15th and 16th century; Regality Tower is 13th century; Pend and Fortified Gatehouse 15th century. Once known as the richest abbey in Scotland.The last Abbot was Cardinal David Beaton in the 16th century. The mason's yard originally stood on the site where the visitor centre now stands.
Few marks were found on the exterior due to weather erosion of the sandstone, but marks were found within the clerestory, the gallery walkway above the main west door, and within the sacristy, gatehouse and Abbot's House. Only one mark was found on the interior of the nave but this may be from a later period. No marks were noted in the undercroft of the Abbot's house apart from one at the eastern entrance. 147 marks were recorded belonging to 64 different masons.
Angus Council SMR site record
Historic Scotland property details
RCAHMS site record
Sites Linked by Common Marks
photo of exterior of sacristy
photo of entrance gallery of Abbot's House
Abbey Ground Plan with mark locations
Mark locations on South Transept Wall
mark locations, West Wall (Interior)
Mark locations on Sacristy North Wall
Mark locations on Sacristy East Wall
mark locations on Sacristy South Wall
Mark locations on Sacristy West Wall
Mark locations in Chamber off Sacristy
Mark locations, Upper Floor East Gateway
Mark locations, Ground floor, East Gateway
Mark locations on Ground Floor Abbot's House
mark locations on First Floor Abbot's House
Mark locations on Second Floor Abbot's House
photo of gallery above main west door
Photo of upper floor of East Gateway
Photo of recording the South wall of sacristy