Pluscarden Priory

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Benedictine monastery near Elgin, Morayshire, Diocese of Aberdeen, Scotland. Founded and liberally endowed

by Alexander II in 1230 for an austere community of valliscaulian monks from Burgundy, the monastery enjoyed the protection of popes and Scottish kings through the 13th century; and much of its present structure, finely restored, dates from this period. After the Scottish wars of independence, however, and particularly after being sacked and burned (1390), the monastery declined and was obliged to amalgamate with the Benedictine priory of Urquhart (1454). After the Reformation the priory with its lands passed into private hands. Purchased in 1897 by the Marquess of Bute, it was given by his son to prinknash (Gloucester) with the hope that it would eventually become a daughterhouse. In 1948 a small band of monks reopened Pluscarden; they have restored much of the priory to its former use besides participating in the religious life of northeast Scotland.

Bibliography: f. j. h. skene, ed., Liber Pluscardensis (Edinburgh 187780). d. e. easson, Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland (London 1957) 55, 72. p. f. anson, A Monastery in Moray: The Story of Pluscarden Priory, 12301948 (London 1959). o. l. kapsner, A Benedictine Bibliography: An Author-Subject Union List, 2 v. (2d ed. Collegeville, Minn. 1962): v. 1, author part; v. 2, subject part, 2:250.

[l. macfarlane]