The site of the abbey may have been an ancient holy place for the name Crossraguel probably derives from 'the cross of Raighail'. Raighail was a well-known Irish saint, usually identified with St Regulus or St Rule, who was revered at St Andrews, in Fife. There may have been a free-standing prayer cross here in the Dark Ages. It would have been similar to the Barochan Cross, which now stands in Paisley Abbey but formerly stood in the parish of Houston, Renfrewshire.
Crossraguel Abbey stands silent and ruined today. Yet because of its completeness it still conveys much of the peace and spiritual glory of the monks who served here through four centuries. It was founded early in the 13th century by Duncan of Carrick, heir of the Earl of Carrick. He invited monks of the Cluniac order from Paisley Abbey to build this new daughter house of Cluny.
The order was named after the abbey of Cluny in central France. Paisley and Crossraguel were the only Cluniac monasteries established in Scotland.
For more information about Crossraguel Abbey and other places of natural and historical interest managed by Historic Scotland, click here