Founded in the 12th century, the abbey was the supply base for the Scottish army, where vital provisions were stored.
On the night of 23 June, this store was plundered by the Earl of Atholl, a Scottish earl with wavering loyalty to Bruce. He and his men killed the guards, seized the food and disappeared into the night. This act of treachery was motivated by a personal grudge: Atholl sought revenge on Edward Bruce, who had abandoned the earl’s sister, Isabella, despite her being pregnant with his son.
In November Bruce called a parliament at the Abbey at which he confiscated the lands and titles of those Scottish lords still opposed to him. By regranting these lands and titles to others whose support he already had (or whose support he badly needed), Bruce was able to rebuild the Scottish political community to suit his own needs.
The ruins of the abbey can still be visited today and include an attractive bell tower. Other highlights include the tomb of James III and his queen Margaret of Denmark and a fine display of medieval grave slabs.