Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Whitekirk, St Mary's Parish Church

Burial Ground (Medieval), Church (15th Century), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Whitekirk, St Mary's Parish Church

Classification Burial Ground (Medieval), Church (15th Century), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Whitekirk, St Mary's Church And Burial-ground; Whitekirk Roll Of Honour; Maj W A Baird Memorial Plaque

Canmore ID 56675

Site Number NT58SE 11

NGR NT 59627 81524

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Whitekirk And Tyninghame
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes (1962 - 1981)

NT58SE 11 59627 81524

(NT 5962 8151) Whitekirk Parish Church: In the 12th century, Whitekirk was simply a parish church (dedicated to the Virgin Mary) belonging to Holyrood Abbey, but by about 1300 miracles of healing were being performed at a nearby well (NT58SE 30) and the church was placed under the protection of James I; it reverted to its position as a parish church in the 17th century and survived almost without alteration until 1914, when it was set on fire by suffragettes. The walls sustained little damage and a careful restoration was carried out by Robert Lorimer. It is cruciform on plan with a squat central tower and a two-bay choir with prominent buttresses. The only medieval tracery is in the S window. The E wall is blank except for a small oculus high up (renewed correctly after 1914) and a small armorial panel; the arms have been identified as those of Abbot Crawford of Holyrood (1460-83). This is not reconcilable in any obvious way with a record that Adam Hepburn of Hailes Castle built the choir in 1439. The N transept has no old features and the S transept is of 1830, much rebuilt by Lorimer.

Central tower with small two-light openings, a stair-turret at the NW corner and a low slated spire recessed behind a corbelled parapet. The N wall of the nave opens into a shallow rectangular projection added in 1832 and rewindowed by Lorimer. The S porch has a large, roughly detailed arch, a canopied niche over diagonal buttresses and, inside, a tunnel-vault with surface ribs. Plain pointed tunnel-vault over the choir. The crossing is entirely Lorimer's but reproduces the old design. Also by Lorimer the ceiled wagon roof over the nave and transepts.

C McWilliam 1978; RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913; D MacGibbon and Ross 1897; D C Bailey and M C Tindall 1963

Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1978.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Whitekirk Parish Church: in use,

Visited by OS (WDJ), [no date cited].

Architecture Notes


ARCHITECT: Sir Rowand Anderson, restoration, 1890's

Sir Robert Lorrimer, restoration, 1915-17

Dick Peddie & MacKay Edinburgh Details of Porch

Attic 2, Bin 6, Bag 1 J.S. Richardson, first year student, 1902


Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Geophysical Survey (October 2014)

An area ground resistance survey totalling 4, 000 sq. m. was carried out in October 2014 in part of a field to the North of the churchyard of St Mary's Parish Church at Whitekirk, East Lothian in the parish of Whitekirk and Tyninghame. The survey, centred on NT 59602 81568 (NT58SE 12) was arranged by Connolly Heritage Consultancy. Ten 20x20 grids were surveyed over an area of 100x40 sq.m in a gently sloping pasture. The area was bounded by the wall of the churchyard to the S, by the garden fence of the tithe barn to the N and by field and garden walls to the East and West. Resistance variations recorded revealed that the site was generally of a low resistance with the exception of three areas of higher resistances at the SE, extending from the NE and at the extreme E of the survey area.

Edinburgh Archaeology Field Society


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions