Crossraguel Abbey

rossraguel Abbey is a Cluniac house located in Carrick, on the heights between Strathgirvan and the Firth of Clyde.


Crossraguel Abbey was legally founded in anno domini 1225 when the Earl of Carrick gave land and money to the monks of Paisley Abbey to establish a daughter house. The financial difficulties faced by the Cluniac order, including Paisley Abbey, at the time resulted in the Abbot of Paisley authorising the building of a small chapel and keeping the remaining funds for the mother house. The Earl complained to the Bishop of Glasgow, who finally brought the matter to arbitration in 1244 and ruled in favour of the Earl.

Since then, construction of a proper abbey proceeded quickly, with the main buildings complete in 1249.

The Community

The abbey is currently home to a score of monks and novices, many of whom are originally from Paisley. As is the custom with Cluniac houses, the majority of the monks are ordained priests, allowing them to conduct several masses per day. Mass at Crossraguel is a spectacular and highly stylised rite, with much more of an eye towards a sense of awe and wonder than ease of comprehension.

Most of Crossraguel's masses are said on behalf of the dead, whether for particular patrons (such as Walter FitzAlan, father of Alan FitzWalter and founder of Paisley) or more generally, such as on All Souls Day.

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