Abbey marks Year of the Light

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ARBROATH Abbey will be holding a special series of events next month to mark the Year of the Light.

Throughout March, the Abbey, which is run by Historic Scotland, will see visitors offered the opportunity to explore the site’s links to its maritime past.

From the 13th century, the Abbey provided a vital focal point for sailors in the North Sea.

A warning floating bell is believed to have been placed near the Inchcape Rocks by Abbot Gedy and the bell was made famous in the poem by Robert Southey.

The poem describes how a pirate sought to make mischief by removing the bell, before ironically becoming a victim of the rocks himself as his ship ran aground there and sunk without the warning of the Bishop’s bell.

Visitors to the Abbey will be able to explore these stories and others during March.

Jim Tollerton, the local learning officer for the Abbey who is running the sessions, said: “The Abbey had many early links to the seafaring community and provided a vital source of reference for sailors.

“The sessions will cover some of these fascinating stories as well as displaying interesting artefacts, including early maps and pictures which show the prominence of the Abbey for sailors.”

The activities coincide with National Science Week and this will form a key focus of the events.

Visitors will have the opportunity to try out various hands on activities ranging from handling sessions looking at the craft skills involved in the construction of the Abbey and the lighthouse, through to creating scaffolding models.

The events will run every Tuesday in March at the Abbot’s House at Arbroath Abbey from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Anyone interested in attending can book a place by contacting the Abbey on 01241 878756.