Whithorn Priory

Dumfries & Galloway | Whithorn | Religious site | ★★★

[Nave of the 12th century cathedral]

Whithorn Priory is famous as Scotland's cradle of Christianity: in other words, the place where Christianity was (probably) first established on Scottish shores. The story starts in the 390s AD when St Ninian founded the first church here, fresh from studying in Rome. Whithorn Church flourished and developed into a cathedral, which was replaced by a larger one in the 12th century. With the 1560 Reformation came ruin, but a new parish church was built in the 1820s, still used today. Access to all this - in varying states of repair - is up Bruce Street, reached from the main street through a lovely archway in a cottage called the Pend. Before heading through here, a deceptively large visitor centre gives a detailed introduction to the long history. There's a further museum midway up Bruce Street, and a reconstructed iron-age roundhouse which you can explore by guided tour. You've probably realised by now that there's a lot to do: allow at least a couple of hours if you want to see it all.

[19th century Parish Church]

Location & info

📌 Whithorn Priory and Museum ★★★
George Street (A746), Whithorn village centre, G.R.: NX 445403 ///pill certainly loudly
Open daily, April to October | £6 adult / £3.80 child / discount for Historic Environment Scotland members

[Visitor Centre on George Street - start here!]

[Visitor centre exhibition]

[Cathedral crypt (left) & remains of the early church]

[Inside the 12th century nave]

[Inside the Parish Church]


[Iron-age roundhouse]

[Archway through the Pend leading to the priory]


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