Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 08947 87346
308947, 687346


E gateway earlier 19th century; NW gateway, gates, railings and much of wall, mid-19th century; W gateway, railings and sections of W wall by R Rowand Anderson, 1891-92. Toolhouse 1897 by John Houston.

E GATEWAY: pair of octagonal-plan sandstone ashlar gatepiers with Gothic decoration; each with base course; 2-tiered panels decorated with cusped arches above; cornice with quatrefoil motifs. Moulded band course below pyramid coping with incised panels to sides. Cast-iron gates have band course of X-shaped motifs surmounted by crockets. Crocketed finials. Slightly plainer pedestrian gate to N.

NW GATEWAY: pair of square-plan coursed sandstone gatepiers with ashlar dressings. Plain frieze below deeply projecting moulded ashlar band course. Pyramid coping. Cast-iron gates have band course of X-shaped motifs surmounted by crockets. Crocketed finials. Similar pedestrian gate set within boundary wall at right angles to N of E pier.

W GATEWAY: pair of rectangular-plan Gothic Revival gatepiers adjoining low stepped walls flanking flight of stone steps in front of W entrance to abbey nave; all of coursed droved sandstone with sandstone ashlar dressings. Gatepiers gableted with roll-moulded apex; each with 2-tier base course surmounted by recessed panel with flanking nook shafts and carved pointed apex to W. Engaged gate stanchions with gableted heads. 3 pairs of double cast-iron gates with wrought-iron decoration (including Art Nouveau finials); central pair of cast iron gateposts with embossed Gothic motifs, square in plan at base rising to octagonal tier with rounded octagonal head Adjoining flanking walls to steps stepped up in 3 stages terminating at pair of low octagonal piers with base course and moulded coping; roundels with carved trefoils to inner faces of upper 2 stages; lower stage of N wall inscribed 'this step(?) was erected by David Alexander in the year 1892'. Flanking walls to gateway; coursed dressed sandstone with ashlar coping; stepped down in 2 stages and surmounted by finialled railings on either side towards gates. Flight of steps continues to W of gateway.

BOUNDARY WALL/RAILINGS: abbey nave and new church bounded on most sides by coursed/rubble sandstone wall with ashlar/rubble coping; various heights. Cast-iron railings with crocketed finials to E and short section to NE adjoining gatehouse. Churchyard contains substantial number of gravestones, mostly of 18th and 19th century date.

GATEHOUSE: 2-bay rectangular-plan single storey Gothic Revival building. Coursed rockfaced sandstone with sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course; eaves band; crenellated parapet. Droved long and short surrounds and hood-moulds to openings. Bays divided by buttresses (including angle buttresses at corners) with gableted heads carved with 3-pointed cusped motif. Entrance with Entrance to right of E elevation; 2-leaf boarded timber door with ornamental cast iron strap hinges. Window to each bay to S elevation. Single window to W elevation. N elevation blank.

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group with Dunfermline Abbey, New Abbey Parish Church, Nave, Gatehouse, Remains of Dorter and Reredorter, Frater Range and Palace and Kitchen (see separate list descriptions).



Daniel Thomson, ANENT DUNFERMLINE, VOL VI (1897), entry 402; John Gifford, FIFE, in 'The Buildings of Scotland' series (1988) p 178.

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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.

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Dunfermline Abbey Toolhouse, looking north.
Dunfermline Abbey, west gateway and steps, looking east.

Printed: 28/11/2022 05:39