Scotland’s Royal Mausoleum

Looking to north side of old Nave and New Abbey Church. Foreground has trees and graveyard.

Dunfermline became the place of royal burials, replacing Iona, which was becoming increasingly at risk from raids by Vikings. Queen Margaret was the first to be buried here in 1093, with Malcolm’s remains being relocated here some years later from his original burial spot in Northumberland. The canonisation (1249) and translation of Queen Margaret’s remains in 1250 enhanced the Abbey’s reputation. King Robert I (the Bruce) himself stated his desire to be interred in Dunfermline amongst the elite names of Scotland’s rulers.

But where are they now?

In the town you will see a business named Seven Kings and find other clues in the names of beers produced nearby.

Nearly 1,000 years have passed and Abbey records have been lost through fire, the Scottish Reformation and changes to the building over the nearly 900 years since Margaret was laid to rest for the first time. Nobody can identify for sure where the royal tombs lie. Records estimate at least seven Kings, six Queens, two Princesses, two Princes and countless other noble relations were interred in the Abbey’s Royal Tombs.

Dunfermline Heritage Graveyard Research
Abbey Church

Discover more about Margaret, on the audio tour St Margaret’s Journey.