Whithorn Priory is in Whithorn village in Galloway
southwest Scotland, 24 miles southeast of the town of
66 miles southwest of Dumfries.
Map / DG8 8PY .
Area Click On Map . 52 Large Images .
This is one of the top attractions on the Whithorn
peninsular (the Machars). The drive around the
peninsular is about 45 miles, a full day if visiting
all the attractions.
The image top is of the entrance with the remains
of the Priory to the left, and church from 1822 on
The Crypt is to the right of the Church, thought
to be the oldest parts of what now remains, an
interesting place to explore.
The notice board image shows what the complex was
397 - Saint Ninian is said to have become the
first Scot to bring Christianity to Scotland. He was
a local from Galloway that studied in Rome. St Ninian
built the first Christian building on this site at
Little is known about St Ninian, other than he was
believed to have the power to cure illness and
The original building of St Ninian here was known
as the White House, probably a small stone church,
that was later enlarged to serve as a Cathedral
Church under St Ninian.
St Ninian was buried at this church, leading to
pilgrims from all over Scotland and Ireland visiting
700s - Whithorn was under the control of the
900s - the Norse took control of Whithorn.
1100s - the Norse were removed from the area by
1128 - the Bishopric of Whithorn was
re-established, leading to work enlarging the
1177 - Whithorn also became a Priory of the
Premonstratensian Order of White Canons.
1200s to 1500s - the Cathedral and Priory were
extended into a large complex.
1560s - the Reformation led to the Cathedral
falling into disrepair.
1700s - the main tower of the Cathedral
1822 - the new Parish Church is built on the site
of the former Cathedral. Much of the complex was
removed at that time, leaving the Crypt on the east
side of the new Church, and the Nave on the west
1800s late - the 3rd Marquess of Bute restored the
remains of the Nave and Crypt. He also excavated what
is believed to be the remains of St Ninian's original
church at the Crypt.
1957 - excavations at the Crypt uncovered 27 high
status burials, some of Bishops buried here between
1200 and 1400.
Jewellery and other artifacts were found with the
Bishops. Parts of their stone coffins can be seen in
Artifacts found at Whithorn are now held by the
National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh,
with them being loaned out at times for
Next to the Priory is the Museum and Visitor
Centre containing intricately carved stones and
the Latinus Stone – Scotland’s earliest Christian
monument. The Bishops jewelry is at times on loan to
this museum, normally in summer.
Ninian's Cave is situated 3 miles west of
Whithorn, with a car park and 1 mile woodland walk
down to the beach.
Many of the stones in the Whithorn Museum were
found in this cave.
St Ninian's Chapel is situated at the Isle of
Whithorn, 4 miles south.