Circa 1425-1532, probably John Frenssh, builder or architect; restored 1812 and 1894-1896, Honeyman and Keppie (with possible asisstance by C R MacKintosh); 1964 spire added to tower, Geoffrey Clarke. Spectacularly sited beside Linlithgow Palace on promontory between loch and town. Gothic, cruciform church with tower to E end, canted chancel apse, 8-bay side elevations including transept and porch to S elevation and transpet and vestry to N elevation. Squared and coursed cream sandstone rubble. Base and string courses, buttresses to N, S and E elevations, corner diagonal buttresses with canopied image niches (figure of St Michael at SW buttress), pointed doorcases and windows with 4-light flowing cusped tracery to nave and chancel aisles, flamboyant to S aisle, panel to apse, round-headed clearstorey windows with cusped Y-tracery, hoodmoulds with carved label stops, wide crenellated parapets, gargoyles.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3 bays; advanced central tower flanked by aisle windows.
TOWER: 5-stage with polygonal stair-turret at NW angle. W elevation; door with trumeau flanked by doors with gothic panel tracery; tympanum with niche flanked by panel tracery. 3-light panel tracery window above; small lancet to 3rd stage; larger lancet to bell stage above, to@ stage with round window with mouchette tracery. Return to right with top 3 stages detailed as W elevation. E elevation with 1 window crenellaed parapet with corner pinnacles, modern aluminium crown 'spire'.
N (SIDE) ELEVATION: gabled bay to N transept off-centre left with window on right return and round stair-turret with conical roof set in re-entrant angle on left return, 4-bay nave aisle to right, each bay divided by buttresses, blind door to penultimate bay with window set high above; advanced vestry bay with door on left return flanked by windows to chancel aisle to left. Regular fenestration to clearstorey.
E ELEVATION: canted apse, pointed windows to each side with panel tracery, canopied niches to buttresses. Piended roof.
S (SIDE) ELEVATION: mirror image of N elevation without vestry but with 2-storey porch 2nd bay fromleft, with clustered colonnette and foliate surround to pointed arch doorway, canted oriel with cusped round-headed windows and pointed ashlar roof above, flanked by narrow canopied niches between storeys. Inside, rib-vault, niche on E wall, stone benches to sides, S door with deep pointed arch surround composed of clustered colonette and moulding, gothic decoration to panelled 2-leaf door and tympanum. Round stair-turret with a polygonal cap set in re-entrant angle to left. Transept with large low hoodmoulded pointed arch window with fine cusped, mouchetted trefaoil tracery. Regular fenestation to clerestorey.
Grey slate roof.
INTERIOR: 3-storey, 8-bay arcade, to nave and chancel, pointed arches on clustered columns, side aisles, triforium (to nave) and clearstorey. Stone rib-vaulted roof to porch, aisles and transepts, plaster vaulted roof to nave. Pulpit and font by Honeyman, timber pulpit with angle niches with statues, octasgonal stone font with crocketted pinacles to angles at base, trefoil panels above.
Stained glass: to apse, 4 lights (the Creation) by Clayton and Bell 1885; S Chancel aisle, 4 lights (St Ninian and 3 others, with 4 monarchs) by alfred Webster of adams, Glasgow, 1914, and 3 lights (the Women at the Sepulchre), by Cottier of London, 1885, S transept 6 lights (Christ and the little children) by Clayton and Bell, after 1892; S nave aisle 4 lights (the Evangelists) by Morris and Co from Burne Jones's design, 1899; W end 4 lights (Adoration of the Magi and scens of Christ with children) by Herbett Hendrie, 1936; W window 3 lights (the Transfiguration) by Ballantine of Edinburgh, 1898; N nave aisle 4 lights (Christ and the little children) by Maryer of Munich, after 1909; N transept 1 light (the infant Samuel) by Meikle of Glasgow.
GATEWAY: stugged squared cream sandstone rubble. Piers with pyramidal caps, 2-leaf lcast-iron gates with low wall to left surmounted by cast-iron railings.
LIVINGSTON BURIAL VAULT: outside to Se, built 1668 for George Livingston, 3rd Earl of Linlithgow. Stone flagged at ground level, mort-safe (brought from Kirkyard), die wall.