Scheduled Monument

Dunblane, Bishop's PalaceSM7707

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Ecclesiastical: precincts, Secular: house
Local Authority
Dunblane And Lecropt
NN 78129 1336
278129, 701336


The monument comprises the upstanding remains and the associated archaeological features which represent a small part of the formerly substantial medieval bishop's palace for Dunblane Cathedral.

Believed to have been built for Bishop Clement in the middle years of the 13th century, it seems likely, from recent excavation and survey, that the palace comprised four ranges built around a central courtyard. The extant ruins consist of four vaulted rooms making up the ground floor of the W range, a fragment of the S stair tower at their S end (on the S side of which survives a small section of walling which may represent the N wall of the adjacent S range) and evidence for the site of the N stair tower at their N end. To the N of these remains, beyond the graveyard wall, excavation has revealed the existence of two vaulted rooms of the N range.

The discovery of a vault fragment below the graveyard wall to the NW of the upstanding masonry may indicate the presence of an earlier palace built on a different alignment to that constructed for Bishop Clement. An adjacent earthwork may similarly indicate part of an earlier version of the palace.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan with maximum overall dimensions of 64m E-W by 50m N-S. The boundary of this area runs, in a clockwise direction from the N-most point as follows. Firstly in a SSE direction for 24m to reach the S side of the path which runs parallel to the Cathedral Halls.

From here it runs for 36m in an WSW direction to meet the E-most point of the enclosure surrounding the upstanding remains of the Bishop's Palace. The boundary then runs for 16m in a SW direction along the W boundary wall of Cathedral Cottage before turning SW for 8m along the line of the wall forming the S boundary of the enclosure.

It then continues along this line for a further 2m. The boundary then runs parallel to the W wall of the upstanding remains for 32m until it meets the W-most point of the path running parallel to the Cathedral Halls. From here it follows the W side of the curvilinear route of the walkway (which forms a continuation of the Haining) for 22m. The boundary then runs for 58m ENE to meet the starting point: all as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Excluded from the schedule within the area thus circumscribed are

1. The above-ground structures forming the Cathedral Halls plus their foundations, and all existing service trenches.

2. The top 30cm of all pathways, to allow for maintenance.

3. The top 30cm of the graveyard.

4. The walls which form the E and S boundary of the enclosure surrounding the upstanding remains and the railings which form the N boundary, plus the curvilinear W wall of the walkway and the above-ground portions of the graveyard wall.

5. All burial lairs with active rights at the date of scheduling.

6. The service trenches for the existing floodlights within the Cathedral graveyard.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the partial remains of the once substantial complex of buildings which formed the medieval bishop's palace of Dunblane Cathedral. These have the potential to add considerably to our knowledge of the development of this important ecclesiastical site and to our knowledge of the ecclesiastical and domestic architecture of the 12th to 16th centuries.



RCAHMS records the monument as NN 70 SE 22.


Robertson, J. (1903-4) Recent excavations at the Bishop's Palace, Dunblane. Transactions of the Stirling Natural History and Archaeological Society.

SUAT (1995) A Survey and Evaluation of the Bishop's Palace, Dunblane.

SUAT (1995) Excavations at The Cathedral Hall, Dunblane.

SUAT (1997) An archaeological watching brief at The Cathedral Hall, Dunblane.

SUAT (1997) Recent excavations and survey of The Bishop's Palace, Dunblane.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Dunblane Cathedral

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Related Designations

  1. Cathedral Square, Dunblane Cathedral (Cathedral Church of St Blaan and St Laurence including churchyard, boundary wall and Riccarton's stile) excluding scheduled monument SM90109, DunblaneLB26361

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)
  2. Dunblane Cathedral and precinct, buried remainsSM90109

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

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

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Printed: 06/06/2020 09:52