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: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
South Lanarkshire
Planning Authority
South Lanarkshire
NS 97541 46411
297541, 646411


1424 remnant of earlier collegiate church, with 19th century alterations. The aisle is a small, buttressed, rectangular-plan tomb and is the former north transept of the now demolished Carnwath collegiate church, which was built on the site in 1386.

The north entrance gable has a pointed arched central entrance door with studded boarded doors under a highly decorative 5-light traceried window with decorative coloured stained glass panels. The south gable contains an arch (now infilled with stone and the Denham family memorial) which used to link to the former collegiate church, and a circular traceried window with hoodmould to apex. Later, shouldered, side and corner buttresses with niches, pitched stone caps and decorative carved stone foliate finials in similar style to adjacent parish church (see separate listing). Stone walled enclosures to south and west, that to west with cast iron railings. Dressed ashlar walls with stepped stone skews and stone slab roof.

Graveyard with corniced and capped stone gatepiers with low stone, capped walls and tall barley twist wrought iron railings to the main street elevation which date to the 1865-9 parish church. Earlier and taller rubble walls to other sides further enclosing the large graveyard with a 16th century recumbent tomb and 17th, 18th and 19th century gravestones. Other 19th century memorials built within walls to east entrance area.

Statement of Special Interest

St Mary's Aisle is an important survival of a 15th century collegiate church which, whilst it has later alterations, continues to demonstrate its early date both to the interior and exterior. St Mary's Church was founded around 1386. In 1424 Thomas, the first Lord Somerville, founded a collegiate foundation for a provost and six prebendaries and expanded the existing (1386) church to form Carnwath Collegiate Church. St Mary's Aisle was built as part of the 1424 phase of work and was the north transept of the collegiate church.

The collegiate church was not used for worship after 1799, at which point it was replaced by the predecessor to the current Carnwath Parish Church, and at some point around this time the majority of the collegiate church was demolished. The remaining north transept was then used as a burial place for local landowners and several new features were added, such as the belfry on the south gable and the cross on the north gable. The outline of an arch in the south gable, which formerly led from the transept into the church, can still be traced. The aisle appears to be joined to the adjacent parish church because they are so close to each other but are in fact separate and built in such a way that their respective buttresses interweave making it impossible to see daylight between them.

The aisle has been the mausoleum for the Somerville family since the 16th century. Inside the aisle is the tomb with effigies of Hugh, Lord Somerville and his wife, daughter of William Maitland of Leddingtonne, who died in 1549. More recently the tomb has an association with the Earls of Carnwath and the Lockhart family.

St Mary's Aisle has built fabric of a very early date but also has significant alterations which were probably added in the 19th century. These include the large pointed arched window, entrance below and cross final to the north gable, and the belfry on the south gable. The buttresses are in a similar style to the adjacent Carnwath Parish Church (1865-9) by David Bryce (see separate listing). Although the buttresses and north gable details of the aisle may predate the parish church as they appear in a sketch by Alexander Archer dated 1837, held by RCAHMS.

Listed building record and statutory address updated 2014. Previously listed as "Old Collegiate Church, "St. Mary's Aisle", and Graveyard".



MacGibbon, D and Ross, T (1887) Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland. Vol.III. p.349.

Ordnance Survey. (1856-9) 6 inch. 1st Edition. London: Ordnance Survey

Dictionary of Scottish Architects, David Bryce [accessed 02/04/2014]

Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, St Mary's Aisle [accessed 15/04/2014]

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: 26/06/2022 02:37