St Margaret’s Shrine
St Margaret’s Shrine (6) is a marble platform at the eastern end of the Abbey in the open air just outside the 19th century church rebuild. Originally it had been inside the part of the Abbey that was rebuilt. It was the plinth on which Margaret’s tomb stood inside the Abbey. Following the canonisation in 1249 of Margaret and Malcolm their remains, which had been in the western part of the nave, were moved in 1250 to stand on this platform in the eastern part of the Abbey. The decorative nature of the tomb is shown on the interpretative board at the shrine which is reproduced below.
A replica of this ornate wooden structure was made for the Margaret 900 celebrations in Dunfermline in 1993. Unfortunately attempts to find this replica for the annual St Margaret Pilgrimage, which recommenced in 2015, have proved fruitless.
The plinth was originally inside the Abbey but on rebuilding the local church at the east end on the 19th century it was left outside. Feel free to walk around it. On the inside of the surrounding wall you can see features that would have previously been inside the original Abbey and the interpretative board explains it.
Image credits – Martin Wilkinson