Learn the history behind Scotland's ancient castles and buildings
Seton Collegiate Church
National Grid reference: NT 418 751
Telephone: 01875 813 334
Admission prices and opening times
- Historic Scotland Member/Explorer Pass holder: FREE
- Adult: £5.00
- Child aged 5–15: £3.00
- Child under 5: FREE
- Concession: £4.00
- Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Concession price: this applies if you can show proof that you’re aged 60+ or unemployed.
- Admission prices are subject to change.
- 1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm
- 1 to 31 October:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm
- 1 November to 31 March:
Seton Collegiate Church, known locally as Seton Chapel, is a collegiate church south of Port Seton, East Lothian, Scotland. The church is situated next to the magnificent Seton House which can be glimpsed through the trees at one end of the church grounds, although a clearer view of the house is visible if you head to the ruined foundations at the far end of the gardens and take a peek over the small fence there. I wish the house was open to the public, and I can only wonder what it’s like inside. But back to the church. Sitting in immaculately manicured gardens, it is now in the care of Historic Scotland and is a 4-Star Historic Tourist Attraction. The church itself is in remarkably good condition for a building of its age, and it displays some absolutely beautiful stained glass windows set in equally impressive gothic style archways.
The ruins to the rear of the church grounds are the location of the remains of buildings that were inhabited by monks at one time, but today only the foundations and some low-lying walls can be seen. The remainder of the gardens house some beautiful examples of Scottish flowers, and the entire gardens are surrounded by fields and woodland. It really is a very peaceful place to visit.
Although the church itself is pretty much bare inside, there are some examples of stonework that have been saved from hundreds of years of neglect, and there are information panels dotted about that gives a rundown of the history of the church, courtesy of Historic Scotland.
The church consists of the complete eastern limb and the two transepts of a cruciform church, the crossing-tower as high as it was built, and the dubious foundations of the nave, which was not built. The walls of the choir and chancel were built by 1478 and roofed by 1508. The transepts were erected sometime between 1513 and 1588. As such the eastern limb stood without them for at least 35 years. The church was raised to collegiate status in 1492. Contained within are two effigies: one male and one female, dating from the fifteenth century. The female effigy, badly defaced, is possibly of earlier origin. To the immediate south-west are the foundations of the buildings once occupied by the clergy and staff.
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