The monument consists of the known site of the conventual buildings around the cloister of Coldingham Benedictine Priory, and an area likely to have been occupied by a number of the outlying monastic buildings to the east of the church and cloister.
Since the priory of Coldingham was unique in Scotland in having the cloister against the flank of the monastic choir rather than the nave, the main nucleus of conventual buildings was further east in relation to the church than was usually the case. The walls of the refectory (traditionally known as 'Edgar's Walls') still partly stand to the south of the monastic choir, and parts of the east range have been located through excavation to the south-east of the monastic choir.
The area over which scheduling is now extended was probably originally occupied by a number of those buildings most commonly associated with the area to the east of the church and cloister, including the infirmary, and perhaps also the residence of the prior.
The monument was first scheduled in 1937, at which time the area scheduled was closely limited to areas to the south and west of the upstanding remains of the church, where it was assumed that the main core of conventual buildings and the nave of the priory church was likely to be. It is now considered important to extend the scheduling to cover those areas that would have been occupied by the monastic buildings customarily located to the east of the main conventual complex. The area now to be scheduled is an irregular polygon with extreme measurements of 150m from east to west and 67m from north to south.