Scheduled Monument

Coupar Angus Abbey,abbey precinctSM5772

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Ecclesiastical: abbey; precincts
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Coupar Angus
NO 22472 39790
322472, 739790


The monument consists of the site of the E and SE portion of the precincts of the Cistercian abbey of Coupar Angus, which was that order's wealthiest house in Scotland.

Little remains visible of the abbey buildings apart from a gatehouse into the precincts, which is already scheduled, and several architectural fragments, which are no longer in their original location. However, the results of trial excavations, metal-detector activity and stray finds indicate that there are likely to be considerable remains below the ground in the area lying to the NE, E and SE of the present Abbey Church, which perpetuates the site of its pre-Reformation predecessor. The remains will take the form of building foundations and ruins, traces of ancient boundaries and deposits of material lost or discarded at the time of the abbey's construction and use. The sole visible topographical feature is the fragment of boundary bank, which appears as an earthwork but is possibly a turf-covered collapsed wall. This forms part of the E limit of the area, and also formed part of the old burgh boundary. It is thought to be at least as early as the Abbey and may precede it: it may be a fragment of the perimeter of a Roman marching camp used in defining later land boundaries. The bank is surmounted by a track which continues to the S and SW, marking its now-vanished course.

The area to be scheduled consists of the entire area likely to have been within the abbey precinct which has not yet been built over, and is bounded on the E by a line 10m E of the E edge of the raised track running along the old boundary, called Thorn Alley, and on the S by a line similarly drawn 10m S of the S edge of this track. On the N the boundary is the S side of the boundary of Candlehouse Lane and on the W it is also defined by modern property boundaries, which are excluded from scheduling. The area to be scheduled has maximum dimensions of 400m N-S by 200m E-W, and is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the only surviving portion of the precincts of the wealthiest Cistercian house in Scotland. It is highly likely that important architectural remains and archaeological deposits survive below the ground surface. Study of these would contribute significantly to our knowledge of Medieval monastic and secular life, the development and construction of monastic architecture, the continuity and adaptation of land divisions and the medieval economy in general.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO23NW 13.0.

About Scheduled Monuments

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.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 06/06/2020 09:55