15th century parish church on cruciform plan, possibly
incorporating earlier Kirk, with N aisle added 1832; S
transept restored, by R Rowand Anderson 1894 and again
by Robert Lorimer 1914-17, further restoration after
suffragette fire. Coursed red sandstone. Pointed arch
Y-traceried windows. Dominating square tower.
S ELEVATION: large crowstepped porch with wide
hoodmoulded pointed archway, imposts and battered angle
buttresses, formerly bearing moulded pinnacles. Blind
niches to buttresses and in weathered panel above
archway. Rib vaulted porch. Metal studded 2-leaf
doors. Arched nave windows with cusped Y-tracery.
Crowstepped S transept to right of ashlar (Anderson
1894) and coursed stone (Lorimer) with ashlar battered
angle buttresses and trefoiled oculus in gable head;
pairs of square headed, 2-light windows with
perpendicular tracery on W return. Buttressed chancel
with 3-light traceried window in S wall.
N ELEVATION: window to nave to outer right; crowstepped,
projecting N aisle (1832) to left with cat slide roof
and 2-light square headed windows as above. Crowstepped
gabled transept to left with tripartite tracery, pyramid
capped stair projection with set-offs adjoining NW angle
of tower. Crowstepped, cat-slide roof to vestry in E
re-entrant of transept with pointed arch doorway.
Polygonal stack on raised base at eaves level to left.
Deep-set chancel light flanked by battered buttresses.
E GABLE: crowstepped with quatrefoiled oculus.
W GABLE: pointed 3-light window; coped skews.
CROSSING TOWER: 3-stage with dividing string courses and
corbelled parapet. Pointed arch windows with simple Y-
tracery to upper stages on all faces; small rectangular
stair lights, mostly blocked. Slate pyramid roof.
Wrought-iron cockerel weathervane.
INTERIOR: white washed, aisle-less nave with timber
barrel-vaulted ceiling; parquet flooring. Rib vaulted
chancel. Pointed stone barrel vault above chancel with
stone flagged floor. Simple carving to choir stalls.
Pink sandstone communion table by Lorimer, with oak
pulpit and lectern. W window stained glass by C E Kempe
post 1889; N aisle 4 lights by Kenneth Parsons, 1916,
with trefoiled S transept oculus. Decoratively carved
wall plaque in N transept, pink sandstone, post 1917, to
11th Earl of Haddington.
Rubble retaining wall enclosing church and graveyard
with yett pattern timber gates to S.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The earlier
church also served as a pilgrimage centre. Aeneas
Silvius Piccolomini visited, before becoming Pius II.
Name of Whitekirk stems from former whitewashed walls.
Oliver Cromwell stabled horses in church, while
attacking Tantallon. Porch niche formerly held figure of
St Mary. Oculus on E end bears Bishop Crawford's
armorial, much weathered. Suffragette fire destroyed
Laird's loft in N transept, and 2-stage pulpit.
Whitekirk parish joined by Tyninghame in 1760. See
Whitekirk Tithe Barn listed separately.