The Scottish Register of Tartans

7 December 2023
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Tartan Details - Sweetheart, The

The information held within The Scottish Register of Tartans for the "Sweetheart, The" tartan is shown below. 

Reference: 10549
Designer: Kinloch Anderson Ltd
Tartan date: 29/06/2011
Registration date: 30 January 2012
Category: District
Restrictions: Yes. Exclusively designed by Kinloch Anderson for Dr. Michael Robert Young. Restricted availability, please contact Kinloch Anderson regarding use.

Registration notes: The tartan was created as a tribute to Sweetheart Abbey, which is situated in the county of Dumfries and Galloway in the South West of Scotland. Dr Michael Robert Young, who holds the dignity of Baron of New Abbey (or New Abbay), of which Sweetheart Abbey is the caput, commissioned the tartan to recount the story of the Abbey’s origins. The Abbey was founded in 1273 by Lady Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her beloved husband, John de Balliol of Castle Barnard (the founder of Balliol College at the University of Oxford). It is said that Lady Dervorguilla was so heartbroken by the loss of her husband that her grief extended to carrying his embalmed heart with her in an ivory box with enameled silver trimmings. She called it her ‘sweet silent companion’. Upon her own death in 1289, she was laid to rest at the Abbey, clutching the heart of her husband to her breast. It was in tribute to her love for her husband that the Abbey first came to be called (in Latin) Dulce Cor, or Sweetheart Abbey. The Galloway tartan has been used as the initial starting point of the design because of its direct links with both the location of the Abbey and Lady Dervorguilla, whose father was Lord of Galloway. Colours: the red reflects the embalmed heart of John de Balliol while the silver over-checks represent the elaborate silver and ivory casket. The pink shades recount Lady Dervorguilla’s romantic love for her husband. And the dusty orange appearance of the tartan provides a sense of the striking sandstone walls that confront each visitor to the Abbey.
Woven Sample: A woven sample of this tartan has been received by the Scottish Register of Tartans for permanent preservation in the National Records of Scotland.
Tartan image: Sweetheart, The. Click on this image to see a more detailed version.

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Note: This tartan was registered in the official Scottish Register of Tartans using the guidance at the time of registration. This may have been updated and you should refer to the most recent guidance on our website for registration criteria.
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