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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Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 51261 84225
351261, 684225


After 1612. Post Reformation church on long, narrow plan with W tower, S (Archerfield) aisle added 1656-674; W tower raised later (1825) to 4 stages. N vestry added. Sandstone rubble, formerly harled with freestone ashlar dressings and large ashlar masonry to aisle. Slated roof; overlapping slabs to aisle. Plain raised skews.

S ELEVATION: originally long low elevation with former entrance (now window) at left and round arched windows. Archerfield aisle projecting off centre to right in solid Scottish Renaissance style. Casped Gothic tripartite, loop traceried, round arched window to S set in moulded panel. Rusticated corner piers. Raised cill and base courses. Dentil corbels to shallow pediment above and to cill course. Cartouche panel with James Maxwell's arms in pediment. Doorway to E. Double doors in architrave with keystone linked to pediment bearing Maxwell shield. Corbelled memorial panel to right.

N ELEVATION: with later 19th century gabled vestry projecting at centre. Flanking bays gabled with round arched windows breaking eaves. Former N door to right blocked now window.

TOWER: 4-stage, set flush into W gable. Modern doorway at base. Small 1st stable light. Pointed arched, louvred 2nd stage opening with triple arched louvred lights above. Corbelled parapet with gabletted angle pinnacles and raised over incised cross to each face. Stair turret to N; conical roof at lower belfry level. Upper 2 stages of S and E sides as for W.

E ELEVATION: former doorway at centre, blocked 1930, Y-traceried round arched window inserted with interesting tracery. Wall monument 1728 left of window. Doric aedicule with swan neck pediment and cartouche. Flanking strapwork carving with symbols of mortality.

INTERIOR: plain in arrangement and decoration. Reorganised in 1930s when gallery was removed and chancel added. Open tie beam timber roof and stone barrel vault to aisle. Stained glass in 3-lights of aisle, St Francis and the Animals by Margaret Chilton 1935, executed by Marjorie Kemp under FC Mears. Oak pulpit and lectern. Organ by Ingram and Co 1900. Tower vaulted at ground stage with stair turret to bell-chamber above.

GRAVEYARD: contains good 18th century monuments including: SW of church, squat elaborate Baroque adstone to George Seton. Set into W wall, stone with unusual mask and artisan details.

GATEWAY AND BOUNDARY WALLS: coped squared rubble wall with polygonal, stugged ashlar gatepiers with pyramidal caps. Decorative iron gates and overthrow. Pedestrian entrance to W. Coped rubble boundary wall to N and W.

Statement of Special Interest

CHURCH: Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Parish transferred from Gullane in 1612. Arguably Direlton is the 1st post reformation church in Scotland, before Greyfriars, Edinburgh. Archerfield Aisle begun by Elisabeth Debousy at cost of £45, allegedly to cover the grave of James Maxwell. The 3-light window may have come from the earlier collegiate church at Dirleton. Before being raised, the tower contained a lectern dovecot above the priest's room. The former parapet marked by waterspouts. "WR" initials by top storey, explain date 1825 for raised height.

SESSION HOUSE AND HALL: gablet skews, with vaulted skewputts to both are part of Lady Elgin's "Tidying" of the village, recurring elsewhere. The Hall may incorporate earlier school.



TRANSACTIONS of ELAFNS vol 3 1934-8, W Douglas Simpson,

pp 105-7.

RCAHMS Inventory, number 26

C McWilliam LOTHIAN 1978, p 173

Plan, A Morton 1817, Hutton Collection, National Library.

Drummond Sketchbook MS 28/44

SRO GD 6/2223 1708 roof repair.

NMRS ELD/35/1 J S Richardson details and elevations, 1903.

Survey 1914, Richardson and McKay with Dick Peddie and McKay.

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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