Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
Whitekirk And Tyninghame
NT 59627 81524
359627, 681524


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.




SCOTLAND (1897), vol III, pp. 269-275.

C McWilliam LOTHIAN (1978), p. 467-8 Inventory, number


TRANSACTIONS of Edinburgh Architectural Association vol

II, pp 116-8.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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