Scheduled Monument

Wishart Arch, gateway 50m E of 15 Cowgate, DundeeSM164

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Secular: gateway (see also 56, yett)
Local Authority
NO 40688 30723
340688, 730723


The monument is a stone gateway that once formed part of the medieval walls around Dundee. Its initial construction probably dates to the early 16th century, but historical sources suggest that it was repaired in 1592, 1650-51 and 1824, and then restored during the 1870s with the addition of a crenellated parapet. The structure measures about 10.9m N-S by 1.5m (maximum) transversely and stands about 5m high. It incorporates a central round-headed arch flanked by a gun loop to the N and a pedestrian gate to the S. The southern end of the structure preserves the corner of a late 18th-century building. The monument stands 10m OD on relatively level ground at the E edge of the medieval burgh of Dundee, just N of the Cowgate and E of the modern A991 road. The monument was originally scheduled in 1937, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amended entry rectifies this.

The scheduled area is an irregular shape on plan, to include the remains described above and the ground below them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. It comprises the fabric, footprint and foundations of the arch itself, but no surrounding ground. The scheduling specifically excludes the stone setts beneath the main arch and the paving slabs beneath the S gateway to allow for their maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

This monument can significantly enhance understanding and appreciation of Scotland's medieval burghs and their defences. It is a very rare upstanding example of a Scottish burgh gateway and remains an impressive masonry structure retaining interesting features such as a gun loop. It makes an important contribution to today's townscape. Good historical records enhance our knowledge of the gate's development sequence and indicate potential associations with the protestant reformer George Wishart. Our understanding of the character of medieval Scottish burgh gateways and the manner in which they might be adapted and renovated in later centuries would be diminished if this monument were lost or damaged.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO43SW 7.


Beatts, J M, 1878 History of Dundee, pp. 211, 214.

Maxwell, A, 1884 History of old Dundee, p. 220.

Perry, D R and Bowler, D P, 1989 'Wishart Arch, Cowgate', Discovery Excav Scot, p. 62

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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Printed: 17/11/2018 15:37