Scheduled Monument

Kinloss AbbeySM1227

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
Supplementary Information Updated
Ecclesiastical: abbey; burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; church; claustral remains, Secular: house
Local Authority
NJ 06545 61501
306545, 861501


The monument comprises the remains of Kinloss Abbey which was established by David I in 1150 or 1151 as a daughter house of Melrose. The buildings were greatly added to by Robert Reid (later to become bishop of Orkney), during whose abbacy from 1528 onwards the abbot's lodging was built at the south end of the east range. The abbey was erected into a temporal lordship in 1601, and in 1651-2 the owners, the Brodies of Lethen, sold much of the stone for the the citadel in Inverness. The site is now a graveyard.

The remains of the medieval buildings are still much as they were when they were described by MacGibbon and Ross in 1896. The bases of some pillars and part of the walling of the church are now exposed and much of its outline can be conjectured, indicating a building some 52m east-west and about 35m north-south across the transepts. The south transept chapel, slype and north wall of the chapter house are still standing, as are parts of the south and west walls of the cloister. To the south of the cemetery wall stand the remains of the abbot's house.

Kinloss Abbey was scheduled in 1920, but this was not properly recorded, and the present proposal rectifies this omission and extends the protected area. The area now to be scheduled comprises the western part of the cemetery and its enclosure wall together with a fenced annexe on the south containing the abbot's house, representing an area measuring overall some 88m ESE-WNW by 100m NNW-SSE, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as representing the remains of a Cistercian abbey whose history is well documented. Its standing remains contribute to our understanding of medieval ecclesiastical and domestic architecture in general and that of the Cistercians in particular, while its below-ground remains have the potential through excavation to add significantly to our knowledge of medieval art, architecture, material culture and monastic life.



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NJ 06 SE 2.

Anon. (1798), Survey of the Province of Moray, 73-6.

HB List: Kinloss Parish, item 25.

MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1896), The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, I (Edinburgh), 417-21.

New Statistical Account, (1842), XIII, 206.

Stuart, J. (1881) Records of the Monastery of Kinloss.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to Kinloss Abbey

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 26/05/2024 21:19