Originally at Dumfries, our Benedictine monastery owes its beginnings to the initiative of Marcia, Lady Herries.
At first sight it looks very substantial, but the church is in fact attached at its east end to a theologial college and cloister.
It was commissioned by George Boyle, a supporter of the Tractarian (also known as Oxford) Movement, which had strong links with the (Catholic) High Church. He chose William Butterfield as his architect, a man renowned as a master of Gothic Revival style.
The complex of buildings were finished in 1851 and the church finally consecrated in 1876. Stone was quarried on site and this accounts for the lower level of some buildings.
The interior has quite unusual and magnificent furnishings. Separating the nave and the chancel is a superb carved stone cross that appears almost suspended within the arch. In the chancel itself and behind the choir there are bold tiles of red, yellow and blue creating geometric patterns and designed by Butterfield. These contrast wonderfully with the dark wood of the choir. The chancel ceiling depicts the islands ferns and wild flowers.
The stained glass by master craftsmen William Wailes and John Hardman contribute wonderful colour to the fabulous interior.