Edinburgh, Sciennes, Dominican Convent

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Alternative Names Sciennes, Dominican Nunnery
Canmore ID 52560
Site Number NT27SE 92
NGR NT 2603 7222
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former County MIDLOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NT27SE 92 2603 7222.

(NT 2603 7222) Dominican Nunnery, Sciennes: The Convent of the Order of Friars Preachers, the only Dominican Nunnery in Scotland, was founded after Flodden by a group of kinswomen or widows of the men who had fallen at the battle. The buildings included the Chapel of St John the Baptist (founded in 1512 by Sir John Crawford, a canon of St Giles - before it was taken over by the Nunnery of St Catherine) and covered an area bounded by Sciennes Road on the N, Causewayside on the E, Grange Loan on the S, and extending west of the short street, now called St Catherine's Place. (A stone from the Convent is preserved in No/16) The buildings were damaged at the Reformation, and parts of the ruins were made to serve as a plague-hospital in 1645: but it was pulled down about 1760...(RCAHMS 1951).
This Nunnery stood a little to the S of the E end of The Meadows. A fragment of the wall still remains (c.1820)...(Stark 1820)
H Arnot 1874; J Stark 1820; Bartholomew 1919; RCAHMS 1951.

No trace of the Nunnery now remains; no further information obtained.
Visited by OS (J D) 8 January 1954.

Books and References

Arnot, H (1788) The history of Edinburgh from the earliest accounts to the present time..., 'embellished with twenty eight engravings of public buildings and views, and an elegant and correct plan of the city, as it now is. Edinburgh
Page(s): 250-1 Held at RCAHMS D.8.3.ARN.R

Bartholomew, J (1919) Bartholomew's chronological map of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

RCAHMS (1951) The Royal Commission on the Ancient Monuments of Scotland. An inventory of the ancient and historical monuments of the city of Edinburgh with the thirteenth report of the Commission, Edinburgh
Page(s): 249, No. 215 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV/13

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Charity SC026749