Scheduled Monument

Wishart Arch, gateway 50m E of 15 Cowgate, DundeeSM164

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Secular: gateway (see also 56, yett)
Local Authority
NO 40688 30723
340688, 730723


The monument is a stone gateway that once formed part of the medieval walls around Dundee. Its initial construction probably dates to the early 16th century, but historical sources suggest that it was repaired in 1592, 1650-51 and 1824, and then restored during the 1870s with the addition of a crenellated parapet. The structure measures about 10.9m N-S by 1.5m (maximum) transversely and stands about 5m high. It incorporates a central round-headed arch flanked by a gun loop to the N and a pedestrian gate to the S. The southern end of the structure preserves the corner of a late 18th-century building. The monument stands 10m OD on relatively level ground at the E edge of the medieval burgh of Dundee, just N of the Cowgate and E of the modern A991 road. The monument was originally scheduled in 1937, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amended entry rectifies this.

The scheduled area is an irregular shape on plan, to include the remains described above and the ground below them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. It comprises the fabric, footprint and foundations of the arch itself, but no surrounding ground. The scheduling specifically excludes the stone setts beneath the main arch and the paving slabs beneath the S gateway to allow for their maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

This monument can significantly enhance understanding and appreciation of Scotland's medieval burghs and their defences. It is a very rare upstanding example of a Scottish burgh gateway and remains an impressive masonry structure retaining interesting features such as a gun loop. It makes an important contribution to today's townscape. Good historical records enhance our knowledge of the gate's development sequence and indicate potential associations with the protestant reformer George Wishart. Our understanding of the character of medieval Scottish burgh gateways and the manner in which they might be adapted and renovated in later centuries would be diminished if this monument were lost or damaged.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO43SW 7.


Beatts, J M, 1878 History of Dundee, pp. 211, 214.

Maxwell, A, 1884 History of old Dundee, p. 220.

Perry, D R and Bowler, D P, 1989 'Wishart Arch, Cowgate', Discovery Excav Scot, p. 62

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 (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. 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: 07/08/2022 17:17