Luffness Friary
Religious Place East Lothian Borders

Luffness Friary

Religious Place In East Lothian, Borders

Visit the ruins of a once-thriving Carmelite monastery in Aberlady, East Lothian.

While exploring East Lothian we found a curious little ruin in the woods near Aberlady containing a knight's tomb. This is Luffness Friary and was of the Carmelite Order, also known as Whitefriars.

There is no exact record for when it was built, but a document from 1293 stated that it was in existence then.

The friary's layout revolved around the church, with various other domestic structures including dining halls, kitchens, dormitories and workspaces, all arranged around a cloister on the church's southern side. There is not much left of any of these buildings other than a few stone fragments.

The focal point of this ruin is definitely the knight's tomb which contains the effigy of a knight holding a sword with a large shield resting on his chest.

There is speculation about who it actually is. According to the Historic Environment Scotland website, the position of this tomb is "normal for a founder's tomb" and so this was most likely the founder of the friary from the late 1200s.

This could fit the bill for John of Bickerton who was a tenant of the nearby Luffness Castle in 1296. An alternate suggestion is that it is of a local called Sir David Lindsay who was off on the crusades in Egypt. During his time there he met a met a Carmelite friar and was said they agreed to set up a friary at Luffness. This may have been due to Sir David dying of an illness or wound and wanted his embalmed body to be returned home.

It's set in beautifully tranquil little area that it's easy to see why it would have been a perfect spot for the friars.

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How To Find Luffness Friary

Where Is Luffness Friary?

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56.011225, -2.849609

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56.00791, 56.00791

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There is a little off road parking bay on Avenue Road.

Contributed by Simon Hawkins

Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue pele tower up a remote hill, a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.

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Simon Hawkins

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Luffness Friary was listed in Religious Place // Borders // East Lothian