Scheduled Monument

Penshiel GrangeSM6028

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Ecclesiastical: claustral remains; monastic settlement
Local Authority
East Lothian
NT 64164 63219
364164, 663219


The monument consists of the remains of a monastic grange known as Penshiel. The present remains probably date from the 15th-century. The foundation is likely to pre-date the surviving ruin however: Penshiel is mentioned in a charter granted by the Earl of Dunbar to the monks of the Isle of Mey in AD.1200. It was later attached to Melrose Abbey.

The upstanding remains consist of the main building which measures 25.8m E-W by 7.8m N-S over walls 1.8m thick. The building (2.6m high) has had a vaulted ground floor and probably one upper floor. The walls are built of large rough boulders of greywacke and granite. The entrance is in the N wall, the door was fastened by three horizontal bars as indicated by the bar holes. Most of the outer facing stones have gone on the N side.

There have been two small windows in each gable but these are now indistinct and reduced to below sill level. There are a series of post holes in the exterior face of the S wall, about 2m from the ground which indicate that some sort of structure; ie a hoarding or stage was attached to the wall. To the S of the building is a rectangular enclosure or courtyard measuring 34m E-W by 26m N-S and bounded by the foundations of a wall about 0.9m thick.

To the N of the structure are the foundations of two buildings and walling, probably the remains of another courtyard measuring 26m E-W by 52.5m N-S. The area to be scheduled measures a maximum of 90m E-W by 120m N-S as marked in red on the accompanying map. Existing modern fences are excluded from scheduling.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a good example of a centre of monastic retreat originating in the 13th century, although the upstanding remains are thought to be of 15th century date. As such it has the potential to yield information, through a combination of historical research and archaeological excavation, which is likely to increase our understanding of ecclesiastical architecture, the organisation and function of monastic communities, landuse, economy and material culture in Medieval Scotland.



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 66 SW 11.


MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1892) The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, vol. IV, 211.

RCAHMS (1924) Inventory for East Lothian, 134-5, No. 215.

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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