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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Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
Date Removed:
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 08963 87261
308963, 687261

Removal Reason

The significance of this monument is recognised by its designations as a scheduled monument (see SM90116).


Early-earlier 14th century. Formerly 3-storey; 8-bay; large rectangular-plan Gothic block built to accommodate refectory. Incorporates tall 2nd floor windows including large W end window with reticulated tracery; semi-octagonal stairtower at NW corner. Coursed dressed sandstone with ashlar dressings. All windows hood-moulded apart from arrowslits.

S ELEVATION: bays divided vertically by slightly stepped buttresses; band courses joining sills at ground and 2nd floor levels and hood-moulds at 1st floor level. Irregular pair of outer bays at each end. Steps up to entrance (to lobby) to outer right; chamfered and rebated jambs and a moulded arch of 3 orders. Wide round-arched window above; moulded arched window to 1st floor. Single ground floor lancet window with chamfered jambs to adjacent bay to left. Paired lancets above. Upper storey jettied out between buttresses, supported over moulded cusped arch. Paired narrow windows above; both with extant mullions and later loop tracery at head. Range adjoins gatehouse to left. Outer left bay has lancet window to ground floor. 1st floor jettied out over segmental arch of 6 orders supporting hanging passage from gatehouse; 2 small lancets to passage and stone flagged roof. Moulded arched window above. Adjacent bay to right contains segmental-arched opening set forward between buttresses under continuation of hanging passage above; smaller entrance set back; small square window to hanging passage. Moulded arched 2nd floor window. Single lancet window to ground and 1st floors to remaining bays; moulded arched window to 2nd floor.

W ELEVATION: pair of lancet windows to right to 1st floor. Large moulded arched window with reticulated tracery above. Adjoins gatehouse to right. Semi-octagonal tower to left; divided horizontally by 3 band courses; arrowslits to 3 W sides of 1st stage; one to each of upper stage. Octagonal cap-house surmounted by spire at apex; round-arched opening to SW. E side of tower is partially decayed.

E ELEVATION: adjoins dorter at undercroft level.

N ELEVATION: only undercroft wall remains, adjoining earth bank.

Building is a roofless ruin with no extant glazing.

INTERIOR: deeply splayed windows. Remains of rib-vaulting to ground floor (undercroft) walls; originally main hall of undercroft divided into 2 vaulted aisles of 7 bays. Entrance to stair tower at W end. E bay comprises lobby with opposing entrances to main hall and dorter; both with moulded arches to lobby. Entrance into vaulted passage beneath gatehouse at 1st floor level at W end. Former 1st floor doorway (now blocked) giving access to hanging passage to 2nd bay from right on S side. 2nd floor formerly occupied by refectory hall; pulpit set within jettied section of wall to 2nd bay from left; cusped moulded arched entrance at foot of steps; tierceron-vaulted pulpit (probably 15th century) opens into interior via 2-light arcade with moulded arches. Entrance to stair tower at 2nd floor level of W end; weathered Caernarvon arch with late 20th century boarded and studded timber door; turnpike staircase. Entrance to gatehouse set within altered opening to left. Late 20th century boarded and studded timber door with contemporary lintel inscribed 'MUSEUM'. Gatehouse window above to left.

Statement of Special Interest

Property in care. A-Group with Dunfermline Abbey, Nave, New Abbey Parish Church, Gatehouse, Dorter and Reredorter, Palace and Kitchen and Entrance Gateways and Boundary Wall (see separate list descriptions). A Benedicting Priory was established in Dunfermline in around 1070 by Queen Margaret, wife of Malcolm III. It was upgraded to an Abbey by her son, David I in 1128. In 1304 the monastery buildings were partly destroyed by Edward I during the Wars of Independence. The buildings were subsequently rebuilt, mention being made of a royal contribution to the erection of the frater block in 1329. The frater range is particularly notable for tis pulpit and finely traceried W window.

Scheduled Ancient Monument.



David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, THE ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, VOL I (1971 facsimilie of 1896 publication) pp 230-58; RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTIES OF FIFE, KINROSS AND CLACKMANNAN pp106-21; John Gifford, FIFE, in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series (1988) pp175-77 and 183-84; Richard Fawcett, THE ABBEY AND PALACE OF DUNFERMLINE (Historic Scotland guidebook, 1990).

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Dunfermline Abbey Nave and Palace

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Related Designations


    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

    Designation Type
    Garden & Designed Landscape

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)
  5. Dunfermline AbbeySM90116

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument
  6. Dunfermline Abbey, Nave and memorials in burial ground, excluding scheduled monument SM90116, DunfermlineLB25960

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

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.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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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Printed: 25/07/2024 09:49