Luffness, Carmelite Friary

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Alternative Names Friary And Fish Ponds; Luffness Convent; Luffness Friary
Canmore ID 55042
Site Number NT48SE 2
NGR NT 47117 80138
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former District EAST LOTHIAN
Former County EAST LOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Architectural Notes

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC23156- DC23160, 1926.

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NT48SE 2 47117 80138

(NT 47117 80138) Remains of Friary (NR) (Carmelite)
(NT 47173 80231) Fish Ponds (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6" map (1968)

The house of Carmelite friars at Luffness is first mentioned in 1335-6, but may have been founded in the previous century. No references to it have been found after 1512, but lands formerly belonging to it were leased by the crown in 1609. The foundations of the church can be clearly discerned, but the associated buildings have almost entirely disappeared. About 100 yds NE of the church are the remains of two fishponds, and 100 yds further in the same direction is a fragment of building, now incorporated in a boundary wall.
D E Easson 1957; RCAHMS 1924; Trans E Lothian Antiq Fld Natur Soc 1929

The remains are as described above. The walls of the church, which measures 31.0m x 8.0 m, average 0.7m wide and 0.7m high except at the E end on the N side, where the wall is 1.7m high.
All that remains of the two fish ponds are two waterlogged hollows overgrown with rank grass or weeds. They have a maximum depth of 1.5m. The fragment of building mentioned above was located at NT 4730 8026. It consists of the NW angle of a building, the N side being 0.5m long, the W side, 3.0m long, and standing to a height of some 3.5m. There are two blocked-up slit windows in the N wall.
Revised at 25".
Visited by OS (WDJ) 21 November 1962

No change to previous field report.
Visited by OS (SFS) 16 July 1975

At the E end of the N wall of the church, a recess contains an effigy of a knight in late 13th century armour. The position is that normal for a founder's tomb. This effigy proves that the friary was founded several decades before it first appears on record. Also, the proportions of the church compare with late 13th century mendicant churches outside Scotland (e.g. Alnwick Carmelites, Brecon Dominicans).
C McWilliam 1978.

Scheduled as 'Luffness Friary, ...the remains of Luffness Convent'.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 14 February 2002.

External Links

East Lothian Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Cowan and Easson, I B and D E (1976) Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man, London
Page(s): 95, 115 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.EAS.R

Easson, D E (1957a) Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man, London
Page(s): 95, 115 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.EAS

Fawcett, R (2002) Scottish medieval churches: architecture and furnishings, Stroud
Page(s): 295, 340 Held at RCAHMS F.5.31.FAW

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Charity SC026749