In 1113, Europe was in the middle of a religious reform movement. This saw the founding of several new monastic
movements, such as the Cistercians and Tironensians. In Scotland the reforms were encouraged by St Margaret, Queen of Malcolm
III and her sons Edgar, Alexander I and especially David I.
Prince David, as he was then, brought monks from Tiron in Northern France to set up an abbey in Scotland in 1113. The monks were settled first at Selkirk, however when David became King in 1124, he decided to move them nearer to his great castle and Royal Burgh of Roxburgh. So in 1128 the Tironensian monks moved down the Tweed to their new base at Kelso.
David went on to found several other abbeys - Melrose  and Jedburgh  in the Borders ; and elsewhere in Scotland Holyrood, Cambuskenneth, Newbattle, Holmcultram, Kinloss and Dundrennan. He also inspired his nobles to follow his example: Dryburgh  was founded by his Constable Hugh de Morville and Coldstream Priory  by Earl Gospatric.
Kelso Abbey was his first and greatest foundation, and the place he chose to bury his only son, Prince Henry in 1152.
Kelso Abbey was David 1 first and greatest foundation, the place he chose to bury his only son in 1152.
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