Quaerentes in Extremis
Glenluce Abbey,near to Glenluce, Wigtownshire, Scotland, was a Cistercian monastery called also Abbey of Luce or Vallis Lucis and founded around 1190 by Rolland or Lochlann, Lord of Galloway and Constable of Scotland. The white-clad Cistercian monks who settled in this secluded valley of the Water of Luce came from Dundrennan Abbey, near Kirkcudbright. They brought with them not only the austere way of life for which the Cistercians were renowned, but also the sombre splendour of their architecture
The Abbey is located two miles inland from where it reaches the sea at Luce Sands, and a mile from the village of Glenluce. Here, the Water of Luce has created a broad and fertile flat-bottomed valley between gently sloping hills, whihc is now the astoral location for Glenluce Abbey.
The plan of the abbey conforms more or less to the standard format laid down by the Cistercian order. The cruciform church was placed on the north, to ensure its great size did not block out the sun from the domestic ranges that nestled beside it. These domestic buildings are organised around an open cloister. The abbey church was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. The abbey church and most other buildings in the complex are grouped around three sides of a square cloister, where the monks walk and pass their time in silent contemplation.
Behind the cloister is the chapter house. This is the second most important space within the abbey, where meetings occur and business is conducted. Above the chapter house are the spartan accommodation for perhaps 15 monks, while on the other side of the cloister was a range in which lay-brethren live. The fourth side of the cloister, the south range, comprises the refectory and kitchen.
The Abbots (Head of the Abbey)
Abbot John, fl. (1222)
Gilbert, 1222 × 1233-1233
Robert, fl. 1236
Michael I, 1236-1243
Alan Musarde, fl. 1244
Godfrey, fl. 1273
Br. Micahel – (Prior) – the deputy of the abbot in an abbey. Micahel came here from Dundrennen Abbey. He can be quite formal and imperious. He believes the Abbot is too lax, and has used the Abbot’s concillatory nature to express this belief opening. He clashes with Br. Padrick.
Br. MacRuhd – (Almoner) – an officer of a monastery who dispenses alms to the poor and sick. MacRudh travels widely and is familiar with every tavern east of Kirkcubright.
Br. Daniel – (Barber Surgeon/Clerk) – this young monk recently arrived from Rievaulx Abbey. Bright and ambitious, he has divided his labors between assiting Br. Padrick in the infirmary as the BArber Surgeon and Br. Michael the Prior as clerk. As Barber, he is the monk who shaves the faces and tonsures of the monks and performes light surgery.
Br. Tomas Marshall – (Cantor) – this retired knight has a big voice to go with his alrge frame. As cantor, his liturgical function is to lead the choir
Br. Gambrinus – (Cellarer) – supervises the general provisioning of the monastery
Br. Padrig – (Infirmarian) – the monk in charge of the infirmary