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9 August 2021

Whithorn Priory and Museum opens again to visitors

A Scottish priory which has been a destination for pilgrims for centuries has re-opened its doors to the public.

Blue skies over the roofless ruin of a stone priory building, surrounded by tombstones and green trees

Whithorn Priory and Museum has opened its doors to the public again.

The priory, which is famously aligned to St. Ninian and was a destination for pilgrims from across Europe, was built in the 1100s for Premonstratensian monks and was the cathedral church of Galloway, Visitors can still follow the route taken by medieval pilgrims to visit St Ninian’s shrine at the east end of the church.  

The museum is home to a number of rare collections including the Latinus Stone – Scotland’s earliest Christian monument. Visitors can also view the remarkable remnants of the early church for a glimpse of the lavish decoration that once adorned the great cathedral. 

The site is operated by The Whithorn Trust and is a property in care of Historic Environment Scotland (HES). 

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES said:

"We are pleased to have even more of our sites reopening up and down the country including Whithorn Priory, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy much loved heritage attractions once again. 

"With over 5,000 years of history in our care, we’ve adopted a phased approach to reopening, providing as diverse a mix of attractions as possible, as well as reviewing and implementing the individual reopening requirements of each site, in line with Scottish Government guidance. We are now looking forward to welcoming visitors back to even more sites, providing further opportunity to enjoy Scotland’s diverse and globally renowned historic environment."

All sites will follow the HES minimum operating standards, which were developed to set a benchmark for the safe reopening of historic sites and resumption of operational activities. 

To guarantee entry, tickets should be booked online in advance and are now on sale.

About Year of Coasts and Waters 2021

The Year of Coasts and Waters (#YCW2021), led by VisitScotland, will be showcased throughout 2021. Activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink - whisky.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

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For further information, please contact:

Dean Hendry 
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962