The New Scriptorium

An ambitious new artist commission by Bobby Niven, for Arbroath Town.

The New Scriptorium is devised as a place for writing and a place for conversation – a place of activity and to celebrate the power of literacy and learning. The structure of the programme for the New Scriptorium includes Writer’s in Residence, events, schools’ projects and more. This programme of activity, in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland, transforms the building into a working space.

The New Scriptorium imagines the Abbey when it was a busy working environment with a library or scriptorium at its heart. The Benedictine order of monks who established the Abbey were from the French Tironensian order, each monk had their own craft or skill, literacy and the making of books was one of the most influential. The town of Arbroath grew up around the Abbey and so too; the red sandstone of the town with the streets running down to the harbour. The great Abbey, with its Round ‘O’ towering above the town, are completely inseparable formally and historically.

The New Scriptorium is an artist designed and built structure be sited on the Abbey grounds in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, Hospitalfield and part of the Angus Place Partnership Programme.

2023: Open Writing Days in The New Scriptorium

Take the time and space within the inspiring context of The New Scriptorium Arbroath Abbey to develop your writing or literary work.

From May – June 2023 we are hosting writers, illustrators and those interested in writing through free, bookable writing days in The New Scriptorium. If you’d like to use the space for literature related activity – please write to the Cicely Farrer (Arbroath 2020 committee member)

You can use the space as an individual or with a group of up to 7 people. 

How long: Up to 4 days in total.

Writers participating in the Open Writing Days in May and June 2023 include: Johnny Gauld, Julie Adams, Knotbrook Taylor, Julie Adams, Linda Watson-Brown and Wendy Jones.

Short Sharp Stories 2022

We launched The New Scriptorium in 2022 with the Short Sharp Stories programme and the inaugural Arbroath Town Writers’ Residency with Angus Writers Circle. In 2022, Hospitalfield led the Short Sharp Stories programme – find out more about the writers, illustrators, collaborations and workshops here: Short Sharp Stories: Scotland’s Year of Stories – Hospitalfield

We partnered to organiser two major projects with young people in Angus:
Short Sharp Illustrated Stories by KMG & Arbroath Academy Students – KMG worked with young people from Arbroath Academy to create drawings that would illustrate the story of the Abbey and the idea of the role of the scriptorium within the Abbey. Find out more

Communication & The New Scriptorium – a film-making project led by young people in Angus, facilitated by Media Education Scotland. Watch the film and find out more

Access to The New Scriptorium

Visitors to the Abbey will be able to access the interior The New Scriptorium during public events and workshops. Visitors attending workshops and events will gain free entry to the Abbey.

Access to the Abbey Visitor Centre, Abbey Grounds (reduced) and The New Scriptorium is £5 standard price with a range of concessions available. Information on ticketing can be found here:

There is level access to The New Scriptorium.

Arbroath Abbey is open:

1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm
Last entry 4.45pm