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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 22/02/1971


  • Local Authority: Edinburgh
  • Planning Authority: Edinburgh
  • Burgh: Edinburgh

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 12480 74379
  • Coordinates312480, 674379


Late 12th century Romanesque church; originally consisting of unaisled nave, W tower and chancel (latter now gone). Later re-working and additions, 17th century, 1822 and 1883 (R Rowand Anderson). Sited on elevated position. Rectangular-plan with aisles to S and N. Base course. Hammer-dressed, squared sandstone older masonry; stugged coursed sandstone for later additions. Ashlar margins (later work), chamfered reveals. String course; corbel table.

TOWER: 3-stage with battered base and 2 string courses. Truncated in 17th century, now with slate saddleback roof, housing dovecot; clasping buttresses to eaves line. Intermediate buttress on W front set between 2 arrowslit windows (that to right broader) and below 1st string course. Arrowslit above buttress at 2nd stage. Flight- hole access to roof with projecting cill in gablehead of W elevation. 17th century, stone bird-cage belfry on E gable of tower; piended roof and corner finials, capped by weathercock. Broad stair projection at SE corner houses newel staircase to upper floors, finishes in lean-to cap at level of upper string course; arrowslit windows. 19th century burial plot of Dudgeon family, surrounded by low wall and railings, projects from SW corner of S wall.

S ELEVATION (NAVE): blocked ornate Romanesque door at centre, stands proud of wall. Doorway recessed in 4 arch orders on free-standing jamb shafts with 'water- leaf' capitals and rectangular abaci. Semi-circular archivolt with roll and hollow moulding and deeply undercut chevron. Hoodmould with stops, chevron design visible on right hand side but weathered for remaining portion. Tripartite window off-set to left of door at clerestorey stage. Later window and door to left; bipartite rectangular window with chamfered mullion and chamfered cill; round-headed door with ashlar margin, sharply-cut chevron hoodmould. String course above window and door running to wall of tower (part of 12th centuty fabric). Small rectangular blocked opening at dado level immediately to right of door. Above to right paired-round headed windows with hoodmoulds. Corbelled coursed ashlar parapet to eaves. Nave cut away at E end by Newliston burial aisle which projects to S. Door at centre in S wall; bolection moulding. Lintel stone inscribed VIRTVTE.DECET.NON.SANGVINE NITI. ("it is better to trust in virtue, not in lineage") Date 1629, initials JD and MC inscribed. Small window at dado level to left on W return of aisle; 2 windows at upper level to left and right. 1885 memorial tablet against wall of E return of aisle; blocked opening below. Some heavy repointing on S face of aisle.

E ELEVATION: gable at centre with burial aisle to left, porch to right and E elevation of N aisle recessed to outer right. 2 rectangular, bipartite windows with semi- circular hoodmould and stops at ground. Large oculus (no tracery) at centre in gablehead. Celtic cross finial. Burial aisle to left. Lower and slightly recessed entrance porch to right, principal door on E front. Gabled door stands proud of wall. Semi-circular arch in 3 recessed orders with impost course and hoodmould. Outer orders plain, innermost roll and hollow moulding. Outer orders supported on monolithic free-standing nook-shafts, pilastered jamb; crocketed and 'waterleaf' capitals; weathered waterholding bases. Ashlar coped skew line. Tall round-headed window with hood mould on N return of porch. Recessed to right is N wing.

N ELEVATION: gable of N wing. Door at ground to left (modern). Intermediate stepped buttress terminating in below level of corbels of E and W returns. Diagonal buttress to outer right. Oculus at centre in gablehead. Bipartite window with semi-circular hoodmould to left of E return, door at lower level to right. Rectangular fanlight above ashlar lintel, long rectangular window to right. Corbelled coursed ashlar parapet above. 3, regularly placed bargeboarded, gabled timber dormers. 3-bay W return, bays grouped towards N end of wing and divided by off-set stepped buttresses; bipartite window with semi-circular hoodmould in each bay. Blank wall at right hand corner, evidence of blocked arched opening; 19th century monument built against wall. Bargeboarded dormers above bays, not glazed. Masonry of S corner evidences 17th century work, and N elevation of junction with tower shows fabric of original nave with string course, similar moulding to tower. Nave projects beyond tower. Tripartite window directly under string course at dado level. Corbelled parapet runs along entire W return and nave junction with tower.

Diamond-pane leaded glass for tower lancets, square leaded glass for main windows, stained glass windows to S elevation, plate glass for E dormers. Grey slate roof with red ridge tiles, dormers also roofed in this way. Ashlar coping to skews. Tall, square, semi-circular coped wallhead stack on E wall of burial aisle; squat coped gable stack on N gable.

INTERIOR: late 19th century; galleried on 3 sides with wooden box pews. Timber roof. Communion table at centre with wooden pulpit by David Rhind (1860). Stair to W gallery within tower. Semi-circular arch between tower and church.

WATCH-HOUSE, GATEPIERS AND WALL: circa 1820, sited on S side of gate. Single storey, 3-bay symmetrical watch- house. Squared and snecked sandstone rubble with droved margins. Raised cills. Ground slopes to S.

N ELEVATION: boarded door at centre with flanking narrow blinded windows under pedimented wallhead; square, apex stack. Gatepier built into left corner, mirrored treatment on W corner as pilaster quoins.

E ELEVATION: blind window at centre. Lower wing to left with boarded door at ground. S gatepier supporting corner and roof.

GATEPIERS: Doric piers of squared sandstone rubble with ashlar coping. Rubble wall with semi-circular coping runs from N pier around churchyard.

GRAVEYARD: number of 18th century monuments in upper churchyard, notable example to S of nave has sculpted skeletal heads with spectacles. Numerous gravestones bearing memento mori.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The S doorway was built up in 1822 when the aisle was added on the north side of the nave. The N doorway was rebuilt in the gable of the aisle at this stage but in the 1883 additions by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson it was moved to become the east and principal entrance of the church. The session house has a model of the church 1859-1884, and also seating plans for 1823 and 1884. The bell is 29" in diameter and is inscribed FOR KIRKLISTON SOLI DE GLORIA ANNO 1687; it was cast by John Meilke of Edinburgh.



Colin McWilliam LOTHIAN (1978) pp273-274. Donald Whyte KIRKLISTON A PARISH HISTORY (1991) pp5-7. ORDNANCE GAZETEER OF SCOTLAND p430. RCAHMS Inventory 344, pp209-211.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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