Historic Whithorn: Archaeology and Development (Scottish Burgh Survey) (Paperback)
Situated at a southern tip of Galloway, in the old county of Wigtownshire, the historic burgh of Whithorn is one of the oldest Christian sites in the UK. The origins of the settlement date back to the mid-fifth century AD and the first monastery may have been founded in the sixth century. Traditionally the monastery is the burial place of St Ninian. By the tenth or eleventh century a town-like settlement had developed around the monastic site and in 131215 this was relocated to the line of what is now George Street. At around the same time the community was created a burgh of barony for the prior of Whithorn. Pilgrimage was a very profitable activity for the town and the nearby settlement of Isle of Whithorn, a port for pilgrims and goods. The book examines Whithorns historic development from the earliest settlement through the medieval period, the significance of the priory, and its subsequent role as a small market town. The town has received very little archaeological investigation compared to that for the priory, and so the authors consider where the areas of archaeological potential lie, in order to inform the future management of Whithorns historic environment. Distinctive building types are identified and the characterisation of the town is mapped.