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 53327 74682
353327, 674682


Compact group of 3 buildings, probably dating in essence from later 18th century, though parts may be older. All 2-storey, rubble built, evidence of harling. Red pantiled roofs.

N BUILDING (OLD SCHOOL): substantially ruinous, in 2 sections, sandstone rubble. Western section with rough dressings and raised chamfered margins; doorway and 2 windows evident to S elevation, single opening to N on 1st floor. Eastern section retains walls and part of pantiled roof; doorway and other low opening to S elevation; 2 openings to each floor to N; skewed gable with single window and stack.

CENTRAL BUILDING: originally probably 4 dwellings. Mostly squared rubble of conglomerate ("clinkstone", very friable). 5-bay, roughly symmetrical, in poor condition. W elevation distinguished by double forestair of stone, diverging from central access steps, supported by concrete pillars (previously stone, which may still survive underneath); 2 doors to ground beneath forestairs, plain boarded, flanked by windows, 2 towards gables, 1 to centre. Same arrangement at 1st floor. Coalsheds beneath stairs. E elevation with 1 window to ground and 4 to 1st floor (brick margins); small window in N gable. Fenestration 12- or 4-pane sash and case. Roof gabled, plain skews, red pantiles, 3 brick stacks (previously rubble) with cans plain or missing.

S BUILDING: in poor condition, 3-bay on front (S) elevation, 3 windows to 1st, door flanked by 2 windows to ground. W gable with 1 window to each floor. Surviving fenestration 12-pane timber sash and case. Roof gabled, plain skews, red pantiles above 4 easing courses of slate. Gable stacks of harled rubble with thackstanes, raised in upper stack of brick. Plain cans.

Statement of Special Interest

Croal, writing in 1873, states that the Village of Abbey was "....much diminished in extent in recent years" and mentions "...a long row of miserable thatched cot-houses" which had been recently condemned. The School is marked on the map of 1854, but is thought to have closed soon afterwards. A photograph taken before 1907 shows the western end already roofless, though with gable and walls largely intact.

The original Abbey, of which no trace appears now remain, lay a short distance to the E. It was founded in 1178 as a priory and convent by Ada Countess of Northumberland, mother of Kings Malcolm IV and William. The Scots parliament met here on 7 July 1548 and agreed a treaty with France whereby the young Queen Mary would marry the French Dauphin. The Abbey was Cistercian and seals of 1245 and 1569 are extent - "Capituli Sante Marie de Hadintoun". It was probably abandoned around the end of the 16th century, and Daniel Defoe could note "...remains of an old Nunnery, not a stone of which has rested upon another within living memory". There is anecdotal evidence that the deep red stones incorporated irregularly in the structure may derive from the original Abbey. Listed Group A with Abbey Old School and Abbey Mill. See separate listings.



OS Map, Haddingtonshire, 1854. D Croal, SKETCHES OF EAST LOTHIAN, (1873). J Martine, REMINISCENCES AND NOTICES OF 14 PARISHES IN THE COUNTY OF HADDINGTON, (1890). W F Gray and J H Jamieson, A SHORT HISTORY OF HADDINGTON, (1944), p 8.

About 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 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.

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 and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but 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. 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 advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. 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


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Printed: 21/03/2019 18:54