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

Whitekirk Church

Our Lady of Haddington Shrine – Historic Church in East Lothian


Location: Whitekirk, south of North Berwick, East Lothian

No larger images, apologies

Whitekirk Church: image © Adrian Welch

Large 15thC 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 Whitekirk 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

Key building close by:

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

Edinburgh Walking Tours

St Martins Kirk, Haddington – west of Whitekirk, East Lothian

Rosslyn Chapel

Burrell Collection

St Brides Kirk

Comments / photos for the Whitekirk Church East Lothian page welcome

Whitekirk Church Building – page