Story of the Sang School

Image with Dunfermline Sang School

This vault was believed to have been used to inter Prince Robert, the third and last child of King James VI and Queen Anne to be born in Dunfermline, who sadly died in the same year he was born (1602). Queen Anne gifted the vault to the Wardlaw family in 1616.

Wardlaw Tomb door and above lintel is carved relief in Latin stating gifted from Queen Anne
Wardlaw Tomb door and lintel inscription.

Anne and James had married in 1589 and as a wedding gift, James gave her Dunfermline! Specifically, the Lordship of Dunfermline, and a few years later he added what remained of Dunfermline Abbey with its lands and revenue. Quite a gift! 

Queen Anne loved Dunfermline and spent much time here, making many alterations to the Palace. The ruins, run by Historic Environment Scotland, are well worth a visit.  

She was a great supporter of the town, even in death, her Mortification (in 1610) instructed a gift in perpetuity of £2000 from the Lordship of the Regality of Dunfermline, to make provision for the Grammar School and Sang School at Dunfermline. 

The annual payment to the Master of the Sang School was £8, 6 shillings, 8 pence. Even with the addition of fees, it was insufficient for a livelihood and the holder of the office generally had to look for some other source of revenue. 

There is no longer a Sang School in Dunfermline, Webster (1875-1957) reported the Master of the Music at the New Abbey Church received the grant.

The Sang School Spotify playlist below has a contemporary interpretation of instruments and music from 17th century Scotland. 

Historic Environment Scotland – Dunfermline Abbey and Palace