Whitekirk Church Photos, Scotland Building History, Ancient East Lothian Architecture

Whitekirk Church in East Lothian

Our Lady of Haddington Shrine – Historic Pilgrimage Church in East Lothian

post updated 12 August 2023

Location: by Our Lady of Haddington Shrine, south of North Berwick, East Lothian

Whitekirk Pilgrimage Church in East Lothian

No larger images, apologies

Whitekirk Church building photo © Adrian Welch

Large 15th Century church, visited by Pope Pius II and popular with pilgrims to this day.


Located in the hamlet of Whitekirk, south of North Berwick, north of Dunbar – is the 15th Century red sandstone structure which is the Parish Church of St. Mary.

Whitekirk was an important mediaeval centre of pilgrimage when a nearby well was pronounced to have healing qualities around 1300. A shrine to Our Lady of Haddington was constructed.

The original Church structure at Whitekirk was a 12th Century parish church, under the jurisdiction of Holyrood Abbey. However, in 1413 around 16,000 pilgrims came to this site and King James I placed the Whitekirk under his personal protection and built hostels to shelter the growing numbers of pilgrims.

Whitekirk, East Lothian
Whitekirk Church image © AW

In 1435, Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, the future Pope Pius II, walked barefoot through the snow from Dunbar to give thanks at Whitekirk Church for his survival of a storm in the Firth of Forth while coming on a mission to Scotland.

Scottish Churches in Edinburgh & Lothian

Whitekirk was a place of Christian worship from the earliest times and known in Old English as Hwīt Cirice. This was due to the holy well, now lost, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and the famous statue.

A key building located close by to the North of this historic structure:

Tantallon Castle
Location: 3m east of North Berwick off the A198, East Lothian, south east Scotland, United Kingdom
Tantallon Castle
picture © Adrian Welch

Edinburgh Walking Tours

St Martins Kirk, Haddington – located a few miles west of Whitekirk, East Lothian

Rosslyn Chapel

Burrell Museum

Histroci Scottish Church Architecture

Glasgow Churches

Major Scottish Religious Building Designs – selection:

St Vincent Street, financial district, west of the city centre, St Vincent St, central/west Glasgow
St Vincent Street Church
St Vincent Street photograph © AW
St Vincent Street Church

Gorbals Parish Church, Gorbals, south Glasgow
Design: ADF Architects
Gorbals Parish Church

Caledonia Road, Caledonia Rd, Gorbals, south Glasgow
Caledonia Road Church

Queens Cross Church, Garscube
Architect: Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Queens Cross Church

A Modern Lanarkshire religious building:

St Brides Kirk, East Kilbride
St Brides Kirk

Glasgow Historic Building Designs

Historic Glasgow Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Custom House Building Renewal
River Clyde of Artisans Custom House development
image courtesy of Artisan Real Estate
Glasgow Custom House Development

Historic Gorbals Building
166 Gorbals Street Community space + gallery Glasgow
photograph courtesy of Urban Union
166 Gorbals Street Glasgow Building News

Comments / photos for the Whitekirk Church East Lothian Building page welcome