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


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Group Category Details
Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 53482 68104
353482, 668104


1708-10. T-plan church with 4-stage tower. White-painted harling with ashlar margins, chamfered at arrises. Various decorative wall plaques and 18th century wall monuments.

TOWER: advanced from centre of symmetrical, 7-bay SW elevation. Off-set above 2nd stage and with corbelled parapet and diminutive angle finials. Round-arched door at centre with oculus over; louvred opening to each stage above. Similarly detailed openings to each remaining elevation at 4th stage. Further narrow door set in re-entrant angle to SE. 2 paired shields to parapet of SW elevation. Slated polygonal spire with decorative gilded weathervane.

SW WING: SW elevation with 2 large round-arched windows flanking tower to each side, with smaller arched windows in outer bays. Gable end elevations with tall doorways; 2-leaf doors and small-pane fanlights; large pointed arch windows above with intersecting tracery and small oculi at apex.

NE elevation with round-arched window closely flanking NE jamb to each side.

NE JAMB: gabled, 2-storey jamb projecting from centre with narrow doorway at centre of 2-bay NE gable and 2 rectangular windows above off-centre oculi at apex, and coped apex stack. Windows to each floor by re-entrant angles at each side; further 1st floor window and doorway

in lugged, bolection moulded and corniced doorpiece to SE return; flight of stone steps with wrought-iron railings to architraved door.

Sash and case windows with small-pane glazing patterns, Gothic pattern to pointed arch windows. Plain raised skews; NE gable steeply pitched. Grey slates.

INTERIOR: central orientation retained; rendered walls, boarded to dado, coomb ceilings. Deep embrasures. Lofts to each jamb on cast-iron columns with panelled fascia; Tweeddale Gallery in NE jamb, with earlier carved panel inserted, dated 1687 and with entwined initials. Fine panelled oak pulpit with sounding board, probably 17th century, and possibly brought in from St Bothans Kirk, Yester; surmounted by gilded eagle and with decorative wrought-iron lamp bracket. Oak communion table, 1895, sympathetically designed. Oak front, circa 1945. Fine pierced balustrade with ornate scroll carving. Box pews. 5 fine oak chairs in later 17th century style.

HEARSE HOUSE: circa 1830. Piend-roofed rectangular plan building sited to E of kirk in graveyard. Rubble with droved dressings. Wide pointed arch carriage doorway, and narrow pointed windows to each side elevation. Slates.

GRAVEYARD GATEPIERS AND WALLS: square ashlar gatepiers to main entrance with droving and carved panels, moulded cornice and pyramidal coping. Lesser stugged stone gatepiers to side gate. Decorative cast-iron gates. Ashlar coped rubble walls toward burgh, rubble coped beyond to

circular graveyard.

Statement of Special Interest

The T-plan arrangement for 18th century churches, with central tower, stemmed from the example of the Tron Kirk, Edinburgh.

A contemporary parallel to Yester occurred nearby at Carrington, Midlothian. Perhaps the most famous figures connected with the church were James Witherspoon (minister from 1720) and his son, John Witherspoon who became President of Princeton College, New Jersey, and was the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. The former's fine table-slab gravestone is one of many notable 18th century tombstones in the graveyard. Hinge-pins of former shutters remain flanking windows on SW elevation. The possibility of the involvement of James Smith in the design of the church has been discussed, prompted by his contemporary work at Yester House: however, no conclusive evidence has been found and no attribution can thus be made with any confidence (see Colvin BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS). Part of Gifford Village A Group.



Ian G Lindsay SCOTTISH PARISH KIRK, (1960), p58.



RCAHMS Inventory, 249.

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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