Skip to content
Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Removed


There are no additional online documents for this record.



  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 20/07/1972
  • Date Removed: 07/09/2016


  • Local Authority: Dumfries And Galloway
  • Planning Authority: Dumfries And Galloway
  • Burgh: Whithorn

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NX 44476 40313
  • Coordinates: 244476, 540313

Removal Reason

Dual designation


Remaining nave and crypt of 12th century cathedral and 13th century Presmonstratensian priory, both altered at intervals over subsequent cventuries.

NAVE: whinstone rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings and squared and snecked sandstone 15th century work (E of S wall). Rectangular-plan roofless structure incorporating 12th century fragements on N and S side walls to E. Break skewputts and cornice.

S WALL: 13th century round-arched Romanesque doorway (moved from former cathedral crossing) to W end, deeply chamfered reveals, nook-shafts with carved capitals, carved impost band and zig-zag detailing to arches above; line of later gabled porch regrettably incised across archway; high lancet flanking to right. Modern set-off buttress dividing these from 5 bays to right, largely 15th century with 3 former 2-light windows cut-down in 17th century, and further 13th century door ot outer right bay (now blocked as window) and with deeply moulded circa 1500 surround to exterior including hoodmould with finials bearing shield of Bishop George Vaus (1492-1508).

W ELEVATION: largely dating from 18th century rebuilding after collapse of early 17th century tower and shortening of length of nave. Former gallery lit by lancet extended down as doorway formerly with forestair, and with square window below.

E ELEVATION: circa 1610, with cill course below pointed arch window, serving as lintel course to 18th century door inserted below

N ELEVATION: blank; formerly abutted by cloister garth, with remaining evidence of former cills to windows above, redundant when roof lowered. INTERIOR: 4 wall tomb recesses - 1 12th century to E altered by insertion of door, and 2 13th century to E end of N wall with cusping and decorative carving 1 round arched recess of 17th century in centre of N wall. Various wall monuments.

CRYPTS: remains of 2 13th century and 1 14th century crypts to extreme E (beyond advanced altar), with outline of former chapels above ground outlined by William Galloway, architect Whithorn, for 3rd Marquess of Bute in lat 19th century. Pointed barrel-vaulted crypts entered from S, through western vault, lit from E. 15th century door leads between this and eastern vault (formerly accessed by stairs from church, of which lower treads remain). Further door in N wall.

Statement of Special Interest

Whithorn Priory is a Scheduled Ancient Monument No 3851. The graveyard now covers the ground intervening between the nave and chapels of the 13th century priory church, and the Parish Church to N (listed separately) is sited on ground formerly graced by the E range. For further information on the excavation, contact Ancient Monuments Division.



RCAHMS INVENTORY no 462 (1912).

Scottish Ecclesiological Society TRANSACTIONS vol III, 1933-4.

C A Raleigh Radford P Gordon Donaldson WHITHORN.

National Art Survey Drawing.

MacGibbon & Ross ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE vol II pf479. (accessed 2011)

About Designations

Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


There are no images available for this record.

Printed: 27/10/2016 13:41