Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Removed


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Date Added
Date Removed:
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
Planning Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 44476 40313
244476, 540313

Removal Reason

Dual designation


Remaining nave and crypt of 12th century cathedral and 13th century Presmonstratensian priory, both altered at intervals over subsequent cventuries.

NAVE: whinstone rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings and squared and snecked sandstone 15th century work (E of S wall). Rectangular-plan roofless structure incorporating 12th century fragements on N and S side walls to E. Break skewputts and cornice.

S WALL: 13th century round-arched Romanesque doorway (moved from former cathedral crossing) to W end, deeply chamfered reveals, nook-shafts with carved capitals, carved impost band and zig-zag detailing to arches above; line of later gabled porch regrettably incised across archway; high lancet flanking to right. Modern set-off buttress dividing these from 5 bays to right, largely 15th century with 3 former 2-light windows cut-down in 17th century, and further 13th century door ot outer right bay (now blocked as window) and with deeply moulded circa 1500 surround to exterior including hoodmould with finials bearing shield of Bishop George Vaus (1492-1508).

W ELEVATION: largely dating from 18th century rebuilding after collapse of early 17th century tower and shortening of length of nave. Former gallery lit by lancet extended down as doorway formerly with forestair, and with square window below.

E ELEVATION: circa 1610, with cill course below pointed arch window, serving as lintel course to 18th century door inserted below

N ELEVATION: blank; formerly abutted by cloister garth, with remaining evidence of former cills to windows above, redundant when roof lowered. INTERIOR: 4 wall tomb recesses - 1 12th century to E altered by insertion of door, and 2 13th century to E end of N wall with cusping and decorative carving 1 round arched recess of 17th century in centre of N wall. Various wall monuments.

CRYPTS: remains of 2 13th century and 1 14th century crypts to extreme E (beyond advanced altar), with outline of former chapels above ground outlined by William Galloway, architect Whithorn, for 3rd Marquess of Bute in lat 19th century. Pointed barrel-vaulted crypts entered from S, through western vault, lit from E. 15th century door leads between this and eastern vault (formerly accessed by stairs from church, of which lower treads remain). Further door in N wall.

Statement of Special Interest

Whithorn Priory is a Scheduled Ancient Monument No 3851. The graveyard now covers the ground intervening between the nave and chapels of the 13th century priory church, and the Parish Church to N (listed separately) is sited on ground formerly graced by the E range. For further information on the excavation, contact Ancient Monuments Division.



RCAHMS INVENTORY no 462 (1912).

Scottish Ecclesiological Society TRANSACTIONS vol III, 1933-4.

C A Raleigh Radford P Gordon Donaldson WHITHORN.

National Art Survey Drawing.

MacGibbon & Ross ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE vol II pf479. (accessed 2011)

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Whithorn Priory

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Related Designations

  1. Whithorn Priory, monastic settlement and priorySM12992

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

About Listed Buildings

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.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

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If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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